HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Forrest General Hospital is using four new "germ-zapping robots" to clean and disinfect patient rooms.
They use pulsed xenon ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria, viruses, mold and other pathogens.
The robots will not replace existing staff and will be used to enhance current cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
The units cost about $125,000 each.
The hospital has been operating the robots for about two weeks.
It is the first hospital in the area to use the technology.
"(UVC) Ultraviolet C (light) actually breaks down the DNA of bacteria, viruses, fungus, spores and by breaking down that DNA, they can't replicate and so they die," said Rachael Sparks, technical director for Xenex, the maker of the robots.
"We wanted to get in on the cutting edge of healthcare," said Melissa Mazer, who oversees infection prevention at Forrest General Hospital. "Healthcare is changing every day and we decided that it's ultimately time for Forrest General to make a great investment for patient safety."
FGH is also holding a contest to name each of the robots.
You can go to www.forrestgeneral.com/nametherobots to participate.
The contest ends on May 19 and the winning names will be announced May 24.