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VCU Medical Center Tests Hand Hygiene Monitor

Saturday October 24, 2009
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A new hand hygiene device that can detect whether healthcare workers have sufficiently washed their hands before entering a patientís room is being tested at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond. The BioVigil wireless, credit-card sized sensor is worn like a name badge and programmed to detect ethyl alcohol, the most common ingredient in hospital hand-cleansing solutions. When a nurse or healthcare worker enters a patientís room, a wall-mounted sensor will send a signal to the badge to check for ethyl alcohol. The healthcare worker then places his or her hands near the badge, which has lights that glow red if no alcohol is present or green if alcohol is detected. The red lights will signal a need for that person to wash his or her hands.

VCU was selected as the study site because of its 87% hand-washing compliance rate, which is about double the national average. The study, along with measuring proper hand-washing procedures, will assess staff perceptions of the technology.

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