Spaulding Cambridge Unveils Germ-Zapping 'Robot' to Enhance Patient Safety

As the public health crisis of the 2013 Flu season demonstrates, the most critical step to ensure infection control begins with a clean environment. Spaulding Hospital Cambridge recently became the first hospital in the Boston area to implement Xenex’s innovative germ-zapping technology to further increase patient safety. The new portable room disinfection device uses pulse xenon to deliver ultraviolet (UV) light throughout patient rooms to quickly destroy viruses, bacteria and bacterial spores. The Xenex device has been shown to kill the influenza virus in less than 2 minutes. 

“The clinicians and staff at Spaulding Hospital Cambridge have always ensured we have infection rates well below national rates as we care for a medically complex patient population who are often most at risk,” said Joanne Fucile, Vice President of Operations and Director of Nursing, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge. “Implementing this new technology enables us to go even further above and beyond to ensure the safety of our patients and their families.”

Spaulding Hospital Cambridge also serves the distinction of being the first post acute care hospital in the U.S. to implement the Xenex system. As a long term acute care hospital, Spaulding’s patients run the spectrum of complexity from minimally conscious and vegetative states to patients dependent on ventilators. Often their hospital stay is anywhere from a month to several months to stabilize and recover after a major injury or illness. Limiting exposure to the flu or other hospital acquired infections (HAI) for these populations is a critical issue that caregivers have been grappling with for years.

"At Xenex we take pride in partnering with our customers to create a safer patient environment. Spaulding is a great example of this because they've been able to tailor the use of our technology to meet their specific needs, such as the disinfection of equipment rooms and fitness areas in addition to their patient rooms," said Dr. Mark Stibich, Chief Scientific Officer of Xenex. "We applaud Spaulding for being the first facility in Boston to implement the Xenex room disinfection system, and especially for their innovation and focus on patient safety." 

The implementation began as a pilot in early December but since gone hospital wide allowing for an increased ability by the Spaulding Hospital Cambridge staff to cover more areas. “Ben”, as the staff have affectionately named the robot not only disinfects patient rooms but has also been utilized to disinfect therapy gyms as well as common areas to add another layer of patient safety.

Studies show that the Xenex system is consistently 20 times more effective than standard chemical cleaning practices and effective against a variety of the most dangerous superbugs, including Clostridium difficile endospores (C. diff), MRSA, VRE, and Acinetobacter. As the first post acute care hospital in the country to use the device, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge and Xenex will be collaborating on a research study to examine approaches and best practices that other post acute providers can utilize.

Media Contacts

For media inquiries, please contact the Spaulding Communications Department at (617) 952-5325 or by email