When IT partners with IC

By: March 25th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

You might not consider yourself the most technically savvy person, but even if you’re still struggling to learn all of the ins and outs of your computer, you can still appreciate some of the new IC gadgets for the healthcare setting.

For example, some studies have noted that computer keyboards can become a breeding ground for a number of bacterium including MRSA. But now a Seattle-based company called Vioguard has created a self-cleaning keyboard that can kill 99.9% of bacteria. The company, owned by two former Microsoft employees, built a keyboard that retracts into an enclosed device which uses UV light to kill nearly all of the germs.

The company expects to launch the first version of the keyboard in the second quarter of this year and intends to test them in a few Seattle hospitals. The downside: the price ranges from $499 to $599, although the company expects that number to decline over time.

Anther technological advancement in hand hygiene compliance could be of particular interest to those doing direct observation, a time consuming and sometimes difficult task.

Epidemiologists and computer scientists at the University of Iowa have collaborated to create technology that automatically tracks the use of hand hygiene dispensers. Details about this method were released Saturday at the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America’s (SHEA) annual meeting in San Diego.

The new “Zigbee” technology requires less power than previous tracking equipment that uses radio frequency identification infrastructure. Workers wear small badges that monitor their use of hand hygiene dispenser stations. The automated system reports the user’s badge number as well as the time, length of use, date, and dispenser ID.

“This new technology is a novel and practical method to determine hygiene compliance that does not rely on the installation of expensive infrastructure and can be installed and removed within minutes,” said Philip Polgreen, MD, University of Iowa Health Care.

Do you think these advancements in technology will be helpful in dealing with IC issues? Let us know in the space below.

hcpro-audio-conference-logosmDid you find this advice helpful? Learn how you can get all your OSHA questions answered by registering for OSHA Healthcare Advisor’s “Q&A Roundtable: Solutions to Your Compliance Challenges” audioconference.


By Lori Birkland on March 30th, 2009 at 9:15 am

I feel this technology would be very helpful in my facility. Surveillance is difficult, and having employees know that each time they enter and leave a room, their hand hygiene will be monitored and reported would be very helpful to all involved. Thanks.



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