Cleaner patient rooms and new alliances are among health information technology vendor announcements in recent days:

* Lancaster General Hospital in Pennsylvania is using three robots to disinfect patient rooms. The robots, from Xenex Healthcare Services and being used after traditional cleaning is complete, use ultraviolet light that is 25,000 times more powerful than the sun to kill any remaining organisms. The devices are set up on both sides of the bed and in the restroom, with a sign placed outside the door to warn against entering, and a motion sensor to shut off the devices if the door is opened. The disinfecting takes about 15 minutes per room and in a three-week period sanitized more than 700 rooms. The hospital is using the robots in high-risk areas such as operating rooms, isolation rooms and intensive care/trauma-neuro units following transfers or discharges. About 100 hospitals use the technology, according to the vendor.

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