Are robots the answer to a nursing shortage?

STORY: Meet Moxi.

She's an employee at Elmhurst Memorial, just outside of Chicago, Illinois.

She's also a 5-foot-tall robot – one of two at the hospital, who work around the clock – quite literally.

“Between the two, they are working 24-7 with only a short period of time to charge in between.”

As America grapples with a nursing shortage, medical centers have been looking for alternative ways to keep patient care flowing.

Are robots like Moxi the answer?

Moxi has a simple but important task: delivering supplies and medication to staff.

DIANE BUTTS, CLINICAL MANAGER OF SURGICAL ONCOLOGY AT ELMHURST MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: “Put in the request on the iPad, and then in a few moments she'll come and then she'll kind of announce herself with a little bit of a beep and we can just scan our badge. She opens up one of our compartments. We place the device in and then complete the transaction, and then she's on her way.”

The goal is to ease the burden on hospital staff – so they can spend more time attending to patients.

According to the hospital’s statistics, the two robots make about 1,800 deliveries per month.

In six months, that's equated to over 31 hundred hours of time saved for the human staff.

KLAUDIA TALASKA, REGISTERED NURSE AT ELMHURST MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: “It leaves a lot more time for us to be able to focus on the patient and focus on what's going on and not be distracted by leaving the floor.”

But as capable as she is - one area is off limits to Moxi:

BUTTS: “We're not relying on Moxi to interact with patients. That's still our privilege and honor. So we get to spend more time with them.”

And that's the whole point of Moxi, according to her creators at Texas-based Diligent Robotics.

Andrea Thomaz is CEO and co-founder.

“We're really passionate about building robots that work as a team and really kind of fit seamlessly into a team work environment to take on some of the work that people in that environment don't really need to be doing.”

Thomaz says she sees regular robot assistants in the future of healthcare.

“If you've got a nursing shortage, you've got a workforce shortage, you know, one of the things that you can do is really think about making sure that the people that you do have are focused on what they need to be focused on.”

Diligent Robotics could not disclose to Reuters how many Moxis are enlisted at hospitals across the United States but did confirm there are “dozens” – with more on the way.