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Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014

News

AllNurses.com: Pocket-size device tracks the hand-washing habits of hospital staff

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

An Allegheny General Hospital physician invented a pager-like electronic device that tracks whether hospital workers wash their hands when they enter or leave patients' rooms, a key to preventing hospital infections.

"It acts like a fancy pedometer keeping track of your hand hygiene compliance," said its inventor, Dr. Andrew Sahud, chairman of the infection prevention committee at the North Side hospital. "The final goal is to prevent infections and promote patient safety."

Effective hand hygiene -- whether by washing with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rubs -- is proven to reduce hospital infections that kill thousands of patients each year. Although most hospital rooms are equipped with soap and sanitizer dispensers, doctors and nurses often are too busy to remember using them, experts say. Only about 40 percent of health care workers follow recommended hand hygiene protocols, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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