Mary Free Bed welcomes germ-zapping robot

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital will welcome a new member to its infectious control team on Monday – a germ-fighting robot that will disinfect patient rooms and other areas of the hospital, significantly reducing the risk of hospital acquired infections.


The three-foot-tall robot, manufactured by Xenex Disinfection Services, emits high intensity ultraviolet light that penetrates and subsequently kills microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and fungus. The robot, which will go to work after a standard cleaning is completed, takes 10-15 minutes to disinfect all the surfaces in a patient room.

“Mary Free Bed’s rate of hospital acquired infections has always been very, very low and we’d like to keep it that way,” said Mary Free Bed Infection Control Coordinator Jeff Gabier. “Infectious diseases aren’t going away, so we’re pleased to be the first rehabilitation hospital in Michigan to team with Xenex to make our hospital even safer and healthier for patients.”

The hospital hasn’t yet named the robot, but will be soliciting staff members for ideas.

Mary Free Bed is a not-for-profit, nationally accredited, acute-care rehabilitation hospital. For more than 120 years, we have served the needs of children and adults – restoring hope and freedom through rehabilitation. The scope of rehabilitation services on the Mary Free Bed campus is not found anywhere else in Michigan: 80 acute-care inpatient beds, extensive outpatient programs and home-based services. The combination of comprehensive services and our exclusive focus on rehabilitation enables specialty physicians and staff to achieve outstanding clinical results for patients. For additional information, visit

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