A reader’s proposal for more consistent handwashing in hospitals

Reader Calvin Freeman wants to combine technology and a cliff notes version of the medical checklist to reduce infections in hospitals.

Use an infra-red beam across the doorway to activate a large silent Red Message that says “Please wash your hands” every time someone enters the room. The sign should be placed so that the person entering cannot miss it and that it is visible to patients but not intrusive enough to wake a sleeping person. The sign would nudge not only busy hospital staff, but also visitors.


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2 Responses to “A reader’s proposal for more consistent handwashing in hospitals”

  1. Bradley Evans Says:

    I used to work in the VA Health System. At one hospital, the administration wanted to improve doctors’ handwashing. They put up signs that read:
    “Please wash your hands after patient contact.” Patients changed each sign to read: “Please wash your hands before and after patient contact.”

  2. Devin Dixon Says:

    I currently work in a hospital setting where hand washing has been nudged in a new way. Screen Savers! I thought this was brilliant. Where’s the dirtiest place in a hospital? ink pens, neck ties, door handles, computer keyboards, mouse, and even patients. Infections and disease processes that patients get and develop during their stay that is outside their admitting diagnosis will not be reimbursed fro treatment in coming years. Hospitals will be forced to do more to prevent the spread of infections via hand washing, the single most important factor when preventing the spread of diseases (according the sign above the urinal).

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