healthcare hospital hand washing

GE has just announced a new technology for hospitals. The AgilTrac Real-Time Location System will allow hospitals to make sure doctors, nurses, and other workers are washing their hands enough.

As patients, Americans contract around 1.7 million infections while in hospitals each year, and nearly 100,000 of those infections end up being fatal. GE says the AgilTrac system will help prevent and reduce the number of these infections, potentially saving lives.

The system works by tracking clinicians’ badges as they enter and leave patients’ rooms. It also includes sensors on soap and hand sanitizer dispensers. So, for example, if Nurse Bryan goes into Patient A’s room and Patient A has pneumonia, then Nurse Bryan goes into Patient B’s room without first stopping by for some hand-washing action, hospital administrators can find out and coach Nurse Bryan into better hygiene habits.

The AgilTrac RTLS was first rolled out in the Summerville Medical Center ICU in the spring of 2012 and then expanded to its medical surgery units and the ER.

Here’s an infographic showing some of the results of the pilot program:


Image credit: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock