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An automated device or sensor as an alarm or informational device to positively re-enforce proper hand hygiene to reduce HAI

“A Clean hand is a caring hand”

Nosocomial infections due to poor hand hygiene are a major cause of increasing morbidity, mortality and health care costs among hospitalized patients worldwide. Hand hygiene is mandatory to prevent the transmission of healthcare associated infections especially where infection’s diseases are common. 

Hand washing compliance among health professionals in general is unacceptably low especially in developing countries.

Hand hygiene as defined by the Centre for Disease Control & Prevention, involves clinicians and other healthcare staffs cleaning their hands before and after patient contact, as well as at selected points of patient care.

Hand hygiene is a simple and low-cost measure to reduce healthcare associated infections yet it has always been a concern in low as well as high resource settings across the globe. Poor hand hygiene during intrapartum and newborn care may result in sepsis. This is a major cause of death among newborns and puts a financial burden on already strained health systems.

 Each year hundreds of millions of patients are affected by health care associated infections (Hospital Acquired Infection) Worldwide. An estimated 7 of every 100 hospitalized patients in developed countries and 10 in 100 in low and middle income countries acquire at least one healthcare associated infection causing a major mortality and financial burden on already strained health systems.

The burden of HAI (Hospital Acquired Infection) is several fold higher in low and middle income countries than in high income ones. There is also a worldwide consensus that urgent action is needed to prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistant organisms and effective infection prevention and control is one solution.

Hand hygiene in hospitals is vital but adherence is very low. Several leading information technology companies have joined forces to bring relevant technologies to the patient.

Nowadays in this technical world, where robots are being developed to replace human beings, we need to think for a better, cost-effective, applicable device in the health care delivery canters to reduce the burden of infections through hand hygiene.

So, the approach of using an automated electrical device for preventing infections is the need of the hour. As several new efforts have been introduced in the foreign or developed countries and have also shown their result in a progressive and positive way. The mortality & morbidity due to infections from poor hand hygiene have been reduced.

For the enhancement and encouragement of these efforts we also need to think for a better resource that can be accessed to reduce the rate of infections in developing countries.

The HHDS are the method or system operating or controlling process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to minimum.

For this, I have thought of developing an automated device or sensor as an alarm or informational device to positively re-enforce proper hand hygiene to reduce infection.

The device will be placed near each patient (Bed Side) & will be connected to the central monitor in the intensive care units. The sensor will sense the frequency of hand hygiene and also they will raise an alarm if any health care professional or attendants, is touching the patient without performing hand hygiene.

The device will allow to accurately record hand hygiene events by individuals, holding each healthcare worker accountable for their compliance and providing actionable guidance for improvement. This will help to achieve and sustain result, deliver better patient outcomes, provide a safer working environment for staff.

The device will be cost-effective means to automatically capture compliance and non-compliance events 24/7. Patient safety is the priority and improving the hand hygiene compliance systems in health care is an easy way to reduce the risk of patient’s & staff being exposed to or contracting an infectious disease.

Authored By:Manish Kumar Pathak, Head IT & Automation, Sahara Hospital

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