Hospitals seek high-tech help for hand hygiene

June 28, 2013 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.

Explore further: Latex gloves lead to lax hand hygiene in hospitals, study finds

Related Stories

Hand hygiene -- clean hands, healthy body

December 16, 2011

Our hands are one of the chief ways we interact with our environment. Think about what you touch daily – doors, desks, food, other people, pets. Hundreds or thousands of other people have often touched the things we ...

Recommended for you

Older people getting smarter, but not fitter

August 31, 2015

Older populations are scoring better on cognitive tests than people of the same age did in the past —a trend that could be linked to higher education rates and increased use of technology in our daily lives, say IIASA population ...

Higher intelligence score means better physical performance

August 14, 2015

New research reveals a distinct association between male intelligence in early adulthood and their subsequent midlife physical performance. The higher intelligence score, the better physical performance, the study reveals. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.