As reported by Fox News 4 in Kansas City, St. Luke’s Health System has introduced a unique addition to its workforce, and it’s catching the attention of curious patients. The hospital has deployed two robots, both aptly named Moxi, to carry out essential tasks within its premises.
These robots are not just a novelty; they are a part of St. Luke’s strategy to enhance efficiency. Hospital administrators are currently fine-tuning Moxi’s capabilities, focusing on their role in delivering prescription medicines from the pharmacy to nurses’ stations. Each robot is equipped with a secure drawer, ensuring the safe storage of items designated for delivery.
Chuck Welch, a nursing manager at St. Luke’s, expressed his perspective on this technological shift, highlighting the hospital’s proactive approach to integrating technology into daily operations. “It wasn’t that unique for us because we leverage technology to help us do our jobs every day,” Welch commented. He is among several St. Luke’s staff members who welcome this innovative solution.
The hospital’s public relations team reports that the use of robots has resulted in a 30% reduction in nurses’ workload. This newfound time allows healthcare professionals to redirect their efforts toward more direct patient care, a vital aspect of the hospital’s mission.
“In the industry, and not just in our industry, but worldwide, staffing is a challenge. We’re looking at ways to leverage technology to help address those challenges,” Welch emphasized. St. Luke’s is actively exploring how technology can be harnessed to optimize its operations and enhance patient care.
Moxi, with its chirpy voice reminiscent of the beloved dog from the cartoon Blue’s Clues, is not designed for patient interactions. However, in its initial three weeks of service, the robot has completed 500 deliveries and retrievals for the hospital staff, showcasing its efficiency.
Connor Flanagan, the hospital’s pharmacy operations manager, acknowledged the prevalent shortage of pharmacy technicians and the strain it places on existing staff. He stated, “There’s no secret there’s a pharmacy technician shortage out there. That’s across the board. This helps our current staff, who do a really good job and work really hard to give them some relief.”
The introduction of Moxi was reportedly not about replacing human jobs but rather augmenting and optimizing the workforce. The hospital’s technology experts are clear that these robots are intended to assist employees in focusing their energy on critical tasks.