Big Brother or better handwashing tool?

Big Brother on CBS may have competition with a handwashing tool. University of Florida researchers have developed a handwashing-monitoring system called HyGreen. It has been developed to promote handwashing and increase compliance rates in healthcare workers.

How does it work? When a healthcare worker deposits hand sanitizer in their hands, they wave them under a sensor. The sensor sends a wireless signal to a badge on the individual’s body. Later, once the worker approaches a patient, a sensor on the patient’s bed signals and reads the worker’s badge to determine the last time hands were sanitized or washed. If it is within acceptable time (not specified), the worker receives a green light, if not, the badge vibrates to remind the worker to sanitize hands again.

The HyGreen system is being used at the Neuro Intensive Care Unit at Shands UF and during the meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, which ended today.