BERWYN, Ill. — A hard, cold object is warming the hearts of patients and staff and changing the face of medicine.
It’s a profession that requires a deeply human approach to care. Now local nurses — at the bedside and on their feet for 12-hour shifts — are getting some not-so-human assistance in the form of robots.
Moxi is helping out floors of MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn. It waits patiently and helps with tasks on the unit, from the nurse’s station to the pharmacy.
“Moxi is not here to take someone’s job. Moxi is here to support everybody and the work they are doing,” Loyola Medicine Nurse Manager Jennifer Moore said.
On a recent visit, WGN Medical Watch saw Moxi collecting a cardiac monitor that needs to go back to the supply room and fetch meds from the pharmacy.
“With Moxi we are able to automate that by having Mox do that work which keeps our nurses at the bedside,” Moore said. “Since Moxi went live in August, Moxi has done over 6000 deliveries and has worked over 2300 hours. … When you think about the little things you do in a day, you never think at the end of the day how much time you spend doing it.
Moore spearheaded the effort to bring the robot on board.
“When we’re in a situation of having staff shortages or people are out due to Covid or other illnesses, Moxi doesn’t need sick time. Moxi doesn’t need days off. Moxi is always very reliable,” she said.
While elevators present a challenge, Moxi navigates the hallways with a little more confidence.
“We’re finding that our deliveries are occurring within 10 minutes of request which is a huge accomplishment because we’re not relying on a person who has to stop working on another task to complete the delivery,” Moore said. “The staff really do enjoy Moxi. It kind of uplifts spirits sometimes. When Moxi comes on the units, you can see the staff interacting even though Moxi doesn’t have a conversational exchange. … It’s really exciting to see how far tech has advanced in recent years and all the ways were able to use it to support our work.”
Loyola medicine used an innovation grant to bring Moxi on board, they have two robots in the hospital right now – 21 hours a day — which equates to the work of about three extra people.