‘Moxi is very polite’: Robot rollout at area hospitals

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – There are some new team members on the frontlines rolling around at Rochester General and Unity Hospital.

‘Moxi’ is here to help with workforce challenges including burnout, staffing shortages and even time management.

“We have done some estimates based on the workflows that Moxi will be helping out with, and we’ve identified already over about 200 hours a week of work that Moxi will be able to do,” said Rochester Regional Health Acute Care System Senior Director Casey Wilbert.

Though Moxi doesn’t say much, it doesn’t have to.

“When it arrives at the location, it will say ‘I’m here to pick something up’, or ‘I’m here with a delivery’, or if there’s a spot in the hallway that it needs to get to, it will say ‘Can I please get into that spot’. Moxi is very polite,” Wilbert said.

Wilbert said Moxi will not replace actual humans.

“We’re not here to take jobs away, we’re not eliminating positions. We really understand as an organization that our workforce is really stretched as it is, so we want to do everything we can to make their lives easier,” said Wilbert.

Whether it’s using her mechanical arms to go through doors, or hit buttons to ride elevators, Moxi will save staff members a significant amount of time when car for patients.

“I really think that it will enable our clinical staff to get back to the bedside,” said Shannon Bentham from Unity Hospital Vice President and Chief Nursing Patient Care Office. “There’s often times that our clinical staff is pulled away for nonclinical related tasks,” she said.

Moxi is assigned to various departments like the pharmacy or dietary food and nutrition. Equipped with safe and secure drawers to carry and deliver supplies.

“Moxi will go right to the unit where the product is being requested, it will not stop anywhere else along the way,” Wilbert said. “It knows once it gets to the unit, it will only open the drawer to the deliver the supplies for that clinical team member once they have swiped their badge.”

Staff members are still debating on whether it’s a he or she, but they hope to have them up and running by the end of October with four at Rochester General and four at Unity Hospital.