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Antiseptic Dispenser Could Save Thousands of Lives Annually
September 9, 2013
1 Min Read
Every year, almost 100,000 people in the United States die due to hospital-acquired infections. In many cases, poor hygiene by healthcare providers can increase the risk of infections. However, a new type of handwashing station could reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections.
Paul Alper is an inventor at the Deb Group, a skincare company based in the United Kingdom. According to Alper, improving hygiene standards in hospitals could save thousands of lives every year.
Most modern hospitals contain a significant number of hand washing stations. On top of this, hospitals may have hundreds of antiseptic hand wash stations. These devices are designed to dispense a no-water antiseptic solution onto a user's hands. However, getting physicians, nurses and other hospital staff to use these systems can be difficult. According to some surveys, only two-fifths of healthcare workers wash their hands as often as recommended.
The DebMed Group Monitoring System (GMS) comprises a small electronic chip added to an antiseptic dispenser. The chip monitors how often a handwashing station is used. Instead of singling out individuals for poor compliance, the device is designed to show which hospital wards have less-than-optimal hygiene practices. By not allocating individual blame, the company believes the device can improve hygiene standards without humiliating healthcare workers.
The electronic chip in each dispenser sends information to a remote server. Once usage information is submitted, it is analyzed and transmitted to hospital staff. Based on a reasonable usage standard, the system can determine if certain wards are not washing their hands enough. The company based handwashing targets on World Health Organization's "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene." This guide provides recommendations for handwashing based on different types of patient contact.
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