Hospital installs cameras to monitor and hopefully boost hand hygiene compliance in the ICU

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Intravenous news; NBC News report Its nearly impossible to escape the all watching eye of big brother these days. Whether it be red light cameras, or neighborhood surveillance, smiling for a close-up has become an accepted part of everyday life. But now one Long Island Hospital is volunteering to take surveillance to another level in an effort to clean up hospitals around the world.

“There’s a sensor over the doorway and as you cross the sensor, it will turn on and that will immediately turn on the camera,” explained Dr. Erfan Hussain as he took a reporter on a tour North Shore University Hospital’s video camera-rigged intensive care unit. The units 39 camera’s focus on every sink and hand dispenser in order “to make sure doctors and nurses are washing their hands,” said Hussain.

Hussain is one of dozens of doctors and nurses who’s every hand-washing move is monitored around the clock. And for good reason. Most doctors weren’t properly washing their hands. “When you speak with any doctor they agree that this is something everyone should absolutely do, but because of time, energy, busyness — sometimes gets missed,” said Hussain.

In 2008, North Shore doctors were found in their own study to only wash their hands properly less than 10% of the time. Bad hand hygiene is an issue at hospitals across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year nearly two million Americans get an infection in a hospital, resulting in over 90,000 deaths.”

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