Nursing

News spotlight: Hand-washing goes high-tech

Nurse Leader Insider, May 2, 2011

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The University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago has recently installed the HyGreen system, a hand-washing technology that senses the alcohol in gels and soaps on health professionals’ hands.

If the substance is sensed, an infrared signal is sent to the professional’s badge, creating a green light on the badge to record the washing event. A monitor at the head of the patient bed senses the badge, and if a professional has not washed up and comes within seven feet of the monitor, the badge will vibrate as a reminder. The professional then has an additional six to 10 seconds to step outside of the zone to clean up before it buzzes again. If a third buzz occurs, the instance is recorded as a noncompliant event and sent to the system’s database, and email reports on each professional’s compliance goes to the hospital’s infection control department.

HyGreen has also been implemented in Miami Children's Hospital, where the hospital saw an 89% drop in healthcare-associated infections after the HyGreen system was installed and achieved hand-hygiene compliance rates above 90% from September 2010 to March 2011.

Source: Health Data Management



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