Big Brother is watching … hands at hospital to make sure they’re clean

Posted at 2:21 PM, May 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-30 14:21:16-04

Big Brother is watching… your hands.

It may sound a little odd but it’s the latest technology to generate some buzz at hospitals in the area.

At North Shore University Hospital, we talked with Dr. Dona Armellino, the hospital’s infection specialist, who explained it:  “There is a motion detector that’s up on the ceiling, then the camera over y the window that records footage,” she says as she gives us a tour of the monitoring devices.

That footage then sends the video to an outside company called Arrowsight, which monitors how or even if medical professionals are giving their hands enough scrubbing time.

The approach is to create better hand-hygiene skills to stem an increase of infections.

“They receive that data, analyze it, then give a pass or fail based on those rules,” Dr. Armellino said.

The rules are simple: When someone walks into an intensive care room, they stay in there for 60 seconds, and he or she must wash their hands for at least 15 seconds.

Hospitals are also expanding it to the operating rooms. The first hospital, LIJ’s Forest Hills, brought in the monitors three weeks ago.