In most cases we can only hope that everyone adheres to the “employees must wash hands” rule, but now in some hospitals there are actually cameras and monitors set up to assure that nurses and doctors are keeping their hands clean. Motion sensors, video cameras and even hand washing coaches are a few of the ways medical facilities are keeping track of their employees’ cleanliness.
FoxNews reports about the new hand washing measures many hospitals have taken to get employees to wash hands more often and reduce the spread of infections throughout the facility. Whether it be a time issue or forgetfulness, many hospital workers are not washing their hands as often as they should. A shocking study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that only 10% of doctors and nurses in a Long Island, New York hospital washed their hands after entering a room and seeing a new patient. Once staff were told they were being monitored that number grew to 88%.
Since the sink sensors and video camera is an expensive way to monitor hand washing, the hospital only uses it in the Intensive Care Unit. Other hospitals around the country are raising awareness about the importance of washing hands by employing hand washing coaches. Employees can earn rewards like free pizza and coupons when they keep their hands clean.
Not all employees are thrilled about the new hand washing monitors. Whether it be a time issue or forgetfulness, not everyone is on board to change their hand washing ways. It’s even been reported that some employees have taken some drastic measures to avoid using the monitors properly. Elaine Larson, a professor in Columbia University’s School of Nursing says of the monitors, “People learn to game the system. There was one system where the monitoring was waist high, and they learned to crawl under that. Or there are people who will swipe their badges and turn on the water, but not wash their hands. It’s just amazing.”
What do you think of hospitals installing video cameras that monitor doctors and nurses hand washing practices?
Is this something you would like to see more hospitals take part in?