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Robotic Tools in Hospitals [Industry Spotlight]

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Recognizing the labor-intensive and high employee turnover rate of sterile processing of surgical instruments in hos pitals, Robotic Systems & Technolo gies, Inc. (RST), of Bronx, New York, thought that hospitals can benefit from lessons learned in manufacturing by using the tried and true automation techniques manufacturers employ to improve efficiency and quality They saw a correlation between the repetitive nature of the sterile process department and assembly in the world of manufac turing. "When you think about it, the sterile processing department's tasks for the most part consist of counting, sort ing, inspecting, and processing instru ments just like an assembly line," said Dr. Michael R. Treat, an associate pro fessor of clinical surgery in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Colum bia University, an attending surgeon at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital and founder of Robotic Systems & Technology, Inc. "Automation can per form these tasks precisely, automatically, and reliably 24 hours a day and seven days a week, allowing the administrators to cut costs, redeploy valuable employees to more challenging tasks, reduce errors, and ultimately protect patients."

Published in:

Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 1 )