Hospitals seek high-tech help for hand hygiene

by Jim Salter
In this Thursday, June 20, 2013 photo, Theresa Gratton, infection prevention coordinator at St. Mary's Health Center, wears a device to help remind health care workers to keep their hands clean at the hospital in Richmond Heights, Mo. In the past, hospitals have mostly relied on education, threats of discipline and reports from observers to try and make sure staff keep their hands clean but St. Mary's began testing the device about a year ago and officials say they've been stunned by how well the system works.(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(AP)—Hospitals have fretted for years over how to make sure doctors, nurses and staff keep their hands clean, but with only limited success. Now, some are turning to technology—buzzers, lights and tracking systems that remind workers to sanitize and chart those who don't.

Health experts say poor hand cleanliness is a factor in -borne infections that kill tens of thousands of Americans each year. Hospitals have tried varying ways to promote better .

Since last year, SSM St. Mary's Health Center in suburban St. Louis has been testing a system developed by Biovigil Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich. A flashing light on badges worn by workers changes colors when hands have been cleaned and tracks compliance.

It is among several being tried at hospitals around the country.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Smart bracelet uses RFID to bleep dirty hands

Mar 26, 2013

(Phys.org) —Hospital-skittish people are convinced they will leave the hospital far sicker than when they came in. While assured they are working on groundless fear, recent hospital-borne infections make ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments