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Camera technology may be used to monitor hospital hand hygiene

  • 22 Comments

Hospitals are being offered trials of camera technology developed for slaughterhouses that would see nursing practice monitored remotely from centres in other countries.

US company Arrowsight has approached a trust in the North West about trialling a system that will see patient safety basics, like hand hygiene and the turning of patients at risk of pressure ulcers, monitored by cameras.

Footage would be transmitted to centres in Alabama in the US, or Visakhapatnam and Chennai in India where teams would relay back live information on rates of good practice compliance.

The firm has spoken to Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust about trialling the technology. However, the trust has confirmed to Nursing Times it would need to consider legal and information governance issues, and also consult with staff and patients, before considering any proposal to try out the system.

Arrowsight chief executive Adam Aronson said the company developed the technology when it worked with the US beef industry to try and improve slaughterhouse techniques – specifically the part of the process where the cow hide is removed, during which contamination of the meat is a particular risk.

Mr Aronson told Nursing Times he had been prompted to investigate using the technology in the healthcare market after two members of his own family acquired infections in hospital.

The Royal Liverpool already has a good record with infection control, with recent figures showing its MRSA and C. difficile rates have fallen by over 80% over the past three years.

  • 22 Comments

Readers' comments (22)

  • I have a good idea - why don't we hire someone with experience in the field of nursing to monitor hand hygiene and nursing care on the wards. We could call her 'SISTER' !!

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  • for crying out loud, if you are a registered professional surely you are responsible enough for you own practice to see that you wash you own hands?

    this rag gets more stupid every day. written by idiots for idiots!

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  • Hi, I feel the second comment is a bit harsh about the Nursing Times. I have no issue in stories to promote debate about a new idea however weird it might be. Better for us to know that this might be happening. (Just the kind of idea that this Government would jump on and then waste huge amounts of money in the process. ) I feel that a system like this is a bit over the top when a) all healthcare employees have, as the second commenter says, a personal responsibility to keep personal and professional hygiene at the highest standard possible
    b) the Ward Charge nurse and above and infection control are responsible for monitoring and improving the transmission of hospital acquired infections and although appalling a few years ago is improving a lot.

    The only thing I would like to add is that I am sure that Mr Aronson is setting this system up with the best of intentions in light of his relatives acquiring infections in hospital. However, we cannot possibly irradicate all infections in hospital even with CCTV. Secondly, I am not sure how a TV monitor being relayed to India is going to help the hospital in the UK? Do we have some sort of flying squad to dash to the culprit to reprimand them?

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  • As someone who has regular interaction with both the patients, and the clinical personnel involved in these matters, it is very sad to hear such small minded comments, which clearly come from 2 types of individuals.
    1- Someone who has never had any personal experience of loved ones suffering/dying as a direct result of negligence on the NHS's side.
    2- Someone who is more interested in protecting their own failures, by focusing on the big brother perception as oppose to the blindingly obvious facts , those facts being the following:
    The UK performs terribly as a nation as far as infection rates are concerned in spite of 5 yrs plus of programmes policys and initiatives.
    Infections cost the taxpayer millions each year not to mention the personal impacts of loved ones passing away after so called routine operations go wrong. Patients remain in hospital until which point they say they cant cure it , and then spit them back out to home care or care home setting to die, out of sight out of mind.

    Every time I enter an NHS setting I am amazed at the prehistoric settings, foreign employees, who struggle to speak coherent english let alone follow hand hygiene procedures, maybe they cant understand them ??

    Either way and on a final note, any solution/technology that makes me feel that the nhs employees are doing what my taxes pay them to do to the highest standards is worth procuring.
    Anyone who doesnt has no budget no morales, or no guts !!
    Anyone who disagrees with my coments, has clearly never lost anyone to this negligence, and I hope you never do, one things for sure people do not wash their hands in line with WHO guidelines 100% of the time, bring on Big Brother I say !!

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  • Tony Farrar | 16-May-2012 3:34 pm

    well I am the registered nurse responsible for washing my own hands and upholding the strictest standard so hygiene in my practice and as far as I know no patient has suffered as a result of negligence on my part. I grew up in a medical/nurse household where I learnt the importance of good hygiene as soon as I was old enough to learn and my nurse training also included bacteriological and microbiological studies, hygiene, wound care, aeseptic technique, adequate hand washing techniques and the products available and their actions as well as the correct scrubbing up techniques in theatres, etc. I treat my patients and my colleagues and everybody else the way I would be expected to be treated to the highest possible standards myself if I was in their position.

    There are very many aspects which affect hospital hygiene and these need to be looked at far closely.

    I am not interested in protecting my own failures but interested in working together with the infection control department to learn the new developments and ensuring that their recommendations are being adopted.


    but I am "...someone who has never had any personal experience of loved ones suffering/dying as a direct result of negligence on the NHS's side." and I hope i never will and all the colleagues I have worked with in over 30 years of nursing share the same values and respect for high standards of hygiene as I do.

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  • As someone who has regular interaction with both the patients, and the clinical personnel involved in these matters, it is very sad to hear such small minded comments, which clearly come from 2 types of individuals.
    1- Someone who has never had any personal experience of loved ones suffering/dying as a direct result of negligence on the NHS's side.
    2- Someone who is more interested in protecting their own failures, by focusing on the big brother perception as oppose to the blindingly obvious facts , those facts being the following:
    The UK performs terribly as a nation as far as infection rates are concerned in spite of 5 yrs plus of programmes policys and initiatives.
    Infections cost the taxpayer millions each year not to mention the personal impacts of loved ones passing away after so called routine operations go wrong. Patients remain in hospital until which point they say they cant cure it , and then spit them back out to home care or care home setting to die, out of sight out of mind.

    Every time I enter an NHS setting I am amazed at the prehistoric settings, foreign employees, who struggle to speak coherent english let alone follow hand hygiene procedures, maybe they cant understand them ??

    Either way and on a final note, any solution/technology that makes me feel that the nhs employees are doing what my taxes pay them to do to the highest standards is worth procuring.
    Anyone who doesnt has no budget no morales, or no guts !!
    Anyone who disagrees with my coments, has clearly never lost anyone to this negligence, and I hope you never do, one things for sure people do not wash their hands in line with WHO guidelines 100% of the time, bring on Big Brother I say !!

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  • Tony Farrar | 16-May-2012 3:34 pm

    You are guilty of a fair bit of small-mindedness yourself, coupled with more than a smattering of racism. Anyone who dares to disagree with you must be wrong? If you can't find a better way of expressing yourself, then I suggest that you peddle this sort of cr*p elsewhere.

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  • This company are based in the USA, is this where his relatives contracted infections? What medical credentials does he have, from his website it looks like he is in the finance industry and not the health industry.

    How much does he charge to have cameras installed?

    Will patients and relatives also be filmed not washing their hands, if so, what action will be taken against them?

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  • Anonymous | 16-May-2012 6:08 pm

    good points and what about personal privacy and protecting that of the patients.

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  • the article is about the use of camera technology to monitor hand washing. I find it very sad therefore that people need reminding of this and that all and sundry allow themselves to use this site to make attacks and insults against the profession because of their personal experiences, tragic as they are and regrettable that they should occur, and even feel the need to post the same comment twice, as if in an attempt to emphasize the points they are trying to make, instead of making an informed comment on the issue under discussion.

    The readers here are not involved and nor is it their fault. most work to very high and exacting standards to meet the care needs of their patients so perhaps stating their case in a calmer and more rational way would attract more attention and sympathy.

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