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ST. LOUIS – The housekeeping staff at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital welcomed two new members of the staff just about 10 weeks ago. In mid-November of 2020, “Rosie” and “Astro” robots began their roles using UV-C light to be the final step in the cleaning process in each patient room, OR, and surgical area of the hospital. Running 24/7, the robots are placed in the middle of a patient room or operating room and emit a pulsed UV light to cover every surface, significantly reducing viruses such as COVID-19, and other bacteria like C.Diff, VRE, and MRSA. 

Each robot cycle takes about 13 minutes for patient rooms and about 20 minutes for operating rooms to be sure every inch of the room including bathrooms gets the UV treatment. The robots come in after a thorough cleaning from the housekeeping staff cleans every inch of the rooms with virus-killing cleaners.

The rooms are stripped, wastebaskets emptied, cabinet doors are opened, bathrooms opened and the UV-C pulsing light kills any potential microorganisms as an extra assurance that rooms will be ready for the next patient. The new UV cleaning process is also used for discharges of patients with other bacterial and viral infections, as well as high-risk patients such as blood and bone marrow transplants.    

Bryan Walrath is the Vice President of Operations at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital who says the Environmental Services Team or EDS technicians are the dedicated staff to bring “Rosie” and “Astro” to each room. The two robots are in use 24/7 inside patient rooms, ORs, hospital bathrooms, offices, conference rooms, and more. 

The budget for the robots was planned before the pandemic began to ensure that the hospital is innovative with the current technology to benefit patients and to lower the post-hospital infection rates. 

To know it can remove potential COVID-19 exposure is just one more benefit that brings confidence to patients and staff. SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital is the only hospital in St. Louis with this technology.   

To learn more about the newly renovated SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on News 11 at 7pm and FOX 2 News at 9pm.