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April 5, 2024

ThedaCare Deploys Robots to Enhance Patient Experience and Support Care Teams

Working Side-By-Side with Team Members, Providing More Time for Patient Care

ThedaCare is enhancing the patient care experience with the implementation of robotic automation across multiple nursing units. ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah is the first hospital in Wisconsin to deploy the Moxi robotic solutions to support care teams so they can focus on what they do best: patient care.

Nurses and other care team members can now call on a fleet of robots named Moxi to help with non-patient-care tasks. ThedaCare currently has two robots. Using machine learning technology and an array of sensors, Moxi maps the hospital and uses its mechanized arm to navigate multiple types of doors including those that require badge access. Through its mobile base, which contains three different sized and locked drawers, nurses can use Moxi to fetch supplies, deliver lab samples, pick up medicines from the pharmacy and other tasks that improve overall clinical flows and efficiency. Automating these tasks allows care teams to operate at the top of their license and spend more time with patients.

“We are excited to introduce Moxi to our teams, patients and visitors,” said Grace Gonzalez, BSN, MBA, CMSRN, Vice President of Nursing for the ThedaCare South Region. “We have been exploring innovative ways to support our care teams to offer them resources that will allow them more time to continue providing comprehensive patient care.”

Moxi was designed and created by Diligent Robotics, a robotics company from Austin, TX, that develops artificial intelligence to enable robots to collaborate with and adapt to humans. Moxi is equipped with an arm and mobility that enables it to transport lightweight medical resources, navigate hospital hallways, and drop them off for nurses and other staff. Team members can request Moxi through iPad “kiosks” placed on most nursing units and hospital departments.

Designed to be compatible with the busy environments of hospitals, Moxi’s core technical features include:

  • Social intelligence: opens elevators and doors on its own, designed to avoid people or objects in hallways.
  • Mobile manipulation: Moxi can interact with the hospital’s existing environment, such as doors and elevators to gain access across the entire facility without requiring a significant investment in infrastructure.
  • Human-guided learning: Moxi learns from team members and adapts to the specific environment.

“What we have seen is that nurses can spend an astonishing 30% of their time fetching and gathering supplies,” said Dr. Andrea Thomaz, co-founder of Diligent Robotics. “That’s a lot of time that could be spent with patients, so we designed Moxi to be a good teammate for nurses and health care workers. Having Moxi fetch and deliver items from point A to point B keeps care teams at the bedside. We want Moxi to be a capable, useful teammate that supports, not replaces, valued nurses and hospital staff.”

Supporting Patient Care

As Moxi continues to integrate at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah, the fleet of robots have learned to optimize discharge workflow by retrieving medications, lab specimens and lightweight equipment, saving nurses hundreds of hours of time, and hundreds of thousands of steps in just the first few weeks.

After six weeks of the initial implementation at ThedaCare, Moxi results include:

  • More than 1,200 total deliveries
  • Nearly 630 total active hours
  • 20-minute average delivery time (includes pick-up, drop-off and travel time)
  • Most frequent locations for deliveries: Telemetry, pharmacy and laboratory

“It has been incredibly exciting to see this project implemented at our hospital,” said Gonzalez. “In just the first couple of weeks since Moxi was introduced to the staff, we are already seeing the impact it is making on our team’s efficiency. The innovative initiative is a testament to ThedaCare’s unwavering commitment to embracing new technology, and thinking outside of the box for the betterment of our patients and our teams.”