Canadian researchers studied busy health care environments and found that, in some situations, health care workers need to wash their hands as often as 150 times a day. The study indicates that one reason why workers sometimes forget to wash there hands is due to patient demands keeping the workers busy.
The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute has come up with a device to help clean up the problem. It beeps a reminder to health care workers to disinfect their hands before they touch the next patient. Dr. Allison McGeer of Mt. Sinai Medical Center says, " Eventually I won't need the reminder because the behavior will get embedded. It's like putting your seat belt on when you get in the car." Geoff Fernie, a researcher at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute adds, "I can't imagine that you're going to get away without this device or a device like it on every health care worker in every hospital and every nursing home."
The new technology consists of a sensor worn around the neck, infrared lights above the patient's bed, and an alcohol gel dispenser attached to the waistband. Fernie believes that, eventually, patients will insist that healthcare workers wear similar devices. The only problem is, the device cost about $300 per bed.