How tracking employees in real time can reduce hospital infections

Hospitals using real-time location systems to track hand hygiene could reduce hospital infection rates, according to Scientific American.

Some hospitals have been ensuring hand hygiene compliance with new technology that enables location-based services. Healthcare employee tags provide their locations, and similar tags are attached to sanitizer and soap dispenser levers that show if they're being used. A Denver hospital's baseline hand hygiene compliance jumped from about 40 percent to over 70 percent after implementing the technology, according to Scientific American.

A different hospital used the real-time location services to track hand hygiene auditors as they moved around the facility, according to a BMJ Quality & Safety study cited by Scientific American. The study found that dispensers within view of the auditors were used twice as often as those out of sight.  

The technology shows promise, according to Scientific American, as improvements in hand hygiene could lead to a reduction in hospital-acquired infections.

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