hand sanitizer dispenser (kckate16/Shutterstock.com)

Automated hand hygiene monitoring for VA medical center

The Department of Veterans Affairs is installing an intelligent hand hygiene tracking system in one of its medical centers to monitor employees’ hand sanitizing practices, especially important in the current pandemic.

Previously, hand hygiene compliance was monitored by labor-intensive and error-prone visual observation and manual checklists. Now, Miami-based Intelligent Observation will supply battery operated sensors to the VA’s Wilkes Barre, Pa., medical center. They can be placed at doors, near hand sanitizing dispensers or in patient’s rooms to record every single hand hygiene compliance event. The devices send data to smart badge holders worn by patient-facing staff. The data is transmitted via near-field magnetic induction technology, a highly configurable low-power magnetic field that enables communications between devices. Sensors will collect data from badge holders and send it to a router then up to the cloud via cellular connections.

The system will send real-time alerts and reminders to staff to follow hand hygiene practices, according to the statement of work. De-identified data will populate a dashboard and reporting tool that will allow designated VA staff with authorized access to view compliance data. It will also facilitate COVID-19 contact tracing, the VA said.

The service will be provided to the Wilkes Barre facility as a per-bed subscription and includes badges battery operated sensors, installation, dashboard customization, training and ongoing support.

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