The convenient method that individuals use to input and access information on the iPhone or iPad (capacitive touch technology) has now been incorporated into a system for monitoring hand hygiene compliance. Re-purposing this familiar iPad touch technology has resulted in a U.S. patent being issued to Dr. Richard Deutsch of Annapolis, Md., for a hand hygiene monitoring and surveillance system that is designed to assure virtual 100 percent caregiver compliance with HAI prevention and hand hygiene protocol.
Use of this technology should significantly reduce the scourge of HAIs via its application as a novel means of electronic surveillance, which is capable of determining the exact moment of actual physical contact between the healthcare worker (not unlike the iPhone user's finger) and the patient or patient's related medical devices such as their bed, intravenous catheter, urinary catheter, or ventilator (not unlike the iPhone screen itself), and then determining the healthcare worker's hygiene status by correlating the detected patient contact with the healthcare worker's previous activation of a system associated fixed or portable hand sanitizer. Detection of contact generates several animated color coded graphics reflecting the healthcare worker's hand hygiene status on an iPad-like display screen.
Failure to comply with required hand sanitizing creates a forensic visual recording of the hand hygiene violation with the subsequent identification and possible re-education of the non-compliant healthcare worker. In addition, this first-of-its-kind ability to determine actual patient contact provides an effective means of reducing staff workload by eliminating many unnecessary hand-cleaning procedures when patient contact is not required, such as when viewing a patient monitor.
Additional details for the Safe-Hands hygiene monitoring system can be found at http://www.SafeHandsNow.com