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Can Hand Hygiene Trackers Prevent Medical Malpractice?


Doctors and nurses are very busy people working in high-stress situations. They may potentially  deal with hundreds of patients on a daily basis. While running around from room to room, medical staff may forget one key thing: washing their hands.

Medical professionals touch patients and therefore need to ensure their hands are washed before making contact. However, this does not always happen, especially if they are in a rush and dealing with an emergency. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctors only wash their hands half as much as they should.

However, new technology may prevent this from happening. To make sure doctors, nurses and other medical staff keep their hands cleaned and sanitized, some medical facilities in Illinois are turning to tracking technology. Five hospitals—The University of Chicago Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, Elmhurst Hospital, Edward Hospital in Naperville  and MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn—are all using sensors that can even track whether or not an individual employee washed their hands.

This may seem a bit too intrusive for some people, but the truth is that many employers use different forms of technology to track employee activity. After all, a worker who has ever used a time clock is allowing their employer to know exactly what time they arrived at work and what time they left.

So how does this technology work? Doctors, nurses, doctors, therapists, transporters, housekeepers and others who work with patients will soon wear a square badge to track if they have or have not washed their hands after seeing patients.

When an employee washes their hands, a sensor below the soap or alcohol dispenser captures that person’s badge data. In patient rooms, small devices are plugged into the walls to detect when employees go in and out of patient rooms. This data is sent to SwipeSense, the company that created this technology. Hospital managers can see this data through an online dashboard. SwipeSense also sends managers reports as scheduled.

While hospital employees may not enjoy their hand washing activities being tracked, it’s for a good purpose. Lack of hygiene is one of the biggest causes of infections in medical facilities, so cleanliness can help keep patients healthier. This, in turn, reduces the risk of a medical malpractice lawsuit, which can be damaging to a doctor and/or hospital.

Infections are common in hospital environments. In 2015, there were about 633,300 infections in hospitals in the United States. Of those, approximately 72,000 died.

Contact a Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

Many patients suffer infections and other medical issues while in hospitals. By washing their hands frequently, nurses, doctors and other medical staff can prevent the spread of diseases and keep patients healthy, which reduces the risk of medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice cases are hard to fight and win. The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, LTD provide aggressive representation for clients injured by medical professionals. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online request form or call 312-800-0000.


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Disclaimer: The content of this website is presented by Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. It is not intended to be legal advice, but general information related to legal issues commonly encountered with personal injury. If you or a loved one has suffered an unjust personal injury, contact us for a case evaluation. Proudly serving the Chicago, Illinois area.

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