Hospitals in Arizona pride themselves on being clean. Indeed, it is a testament to their professionalism and commitment to patient safety, but it does not mean that all surfaces and instruments are always clean. Human error can affect how they are cleaned, even though hospital attendants may have the best intentions in performing their duties.
Because of this, hospital based infections are still a problem in U.S. hospitals. More than one million infections are reported each year, and thousands of patients lose their lives because of infections that lead to complications. The legal and financial liabilities that come with infection based problems has led some hospitals to look to robots for solutions.
In essence, sanitizing robots can clean surfaces that humans may miss. While this may conjure images of Star Wars like droids with cleaning arms and chemicals, this science fiction fantasy can be dispelled. Instead, the sanitation robots used in many hospitals resemble roving floor lamps that emit ultraviolet light to fuse germs.
With their DNA essentially frozen, germs and bacteria cannot multiply. This limits their ability to survive on surfaces and instruments for extended periods of time, and reduces the likelihood that they will spread and possibly infect a patient.
While use of sanitizing robots has not been universally adopted, hospitals still have an ongoing duty to use reasonable care in protecting patients from infections. Should a hospital fail to use such care, and a patient is sickened, the hospital could be held liable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.