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

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

November 3, 2011
Healthcare workers who wear gloves while treating patients are much less likely to clean their hands before and after patient contact, according to a study published in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital ...

Personalized feedback makes healthcare workers twice as likely to clean their hands

October 23, 2012
A major three-year trial led by researchers at UCL, in partnership with the Health Protection Agency, has shown that giving one-to-one feedback to healthcare workers makes them twice as likely to clean their hands or use ...

Patients shy away from asking healthcare workers to wash hands

November 12, 2012
According to a new study published online today, most patients at risk for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) agree that healthcare workers should be reminded to wash their hands, but little more than half would feel ...

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

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

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.