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Infection Control

Doctors wash more when being watched

December 01, 2011
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NEW YORK — A new study found that more doctors and nurses washed their hands when video cameras were installed and staff member were continuously updated on handwashing compliance rates, according to Reuters.

While the increase in compliance was impressive, one of the study''s authors noted that it was unclear whether the measure helped achieve the ultimate goal — preventing infection transmission in the hospital — and whether it would be cost-effective in other settings, the article stated.

According to the article, the study was conducted by Farber and colleagues in the intensive care unit at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, between 2008 and 2010.

$50,000 worth of cameras were installed in hallways and patient rooms, as well as motion sensors in all doorways, the article noted.

Off-site reviewers monitored the videos and checked whether any doctor or nurse who came through a patient''s door washed their hands within 10 seconds, and if they did the same on the way out; doing so earned workers a "pass," while waiting too long to wash up or not doing it at all counted as a "fail," the article added.

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