ECRI Institute: Disinfecting robots could be worth the investment

The ECRI Institute has released its 2015 Top 10 Hospital C-Suite Watch List report, which highlights new and emerging technologies that "will demand attention and planning" over the next 12 months — and disinfection robots topped the list.

Disinfection robots have become more popular recently in the fight against hospital-acquired infections. There are two main technologies available for these robots, ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide vaporization, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. However, the ECRI Institute report notes that most robots can only be used for terminal room cleaning, and advises that "the number of robots you decide to acquire should be determined according to your room turnover needs and the time required to disinfect."

Disinfecting robots are "costly," the report states, and hospitals should consider trialing the robots before making a purchase to find their optimal value in terms of where to deploy them and what technology to use.

Despite their cost, HAI-fighting robots do have return on investment opportunities "due to fewer staff-contracted infections and loss of work time," according to the report. "Implementing disinfection robotics might not only improve patient health outcomes, but also bring about significant savings and cost avoidance for healthcare systems."

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