A Nashville hospital is using new technology to keep tabs on how often employees are washing their hands.
TriStar Southern Hills Hospital began using “Smart Badges” last month to remind staff to wash their hands each time they enter and exit a patient's room.
“Hand washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection,” Nurse Jenni Kilen said. “Health care is just a busy environment and you get in a hurry and you run in a room and you run out without realizing that you carry in a germ with you and now you carry one out.”
The state-of-the-art-identification badge recognizes employees and greets them personally upon entering a room. It also keeps track with how often employees wash their hands.
“When we walk in this little tag recognizes us and says, ‘Hello Jenni' and recognizes that we enter the room,” explained Kilen.
Since implementing the system in mid-June, hospital officials say the number of employees washing their hands improved by 33%.
“It is really raising awareness. It is an entirely different system of tracking it so we are establishing a baseline of what to expect and with each month we are seeing a significant improvement,” Dr. Tracy Osborne said.
Kilen said she believes the new badges help hold her and her co-workers accountable.
“Even just seeing them it reminds us, ‘Oh that is there' and besides the fact that you are getting monitored you are like, ‘Oh I see that and I need to do it.' It is just a good visual reminder,” she said.
Currently, Southern Hills Medical Center is the only hospital in Middle Tennessee using the system.