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Hospital trust trials traffic light badges to improve hand hygiene  

  • 10 Comments

Staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary are taking part this month in UK’s first ever NHS pilot of a unique hand hygiene reminder tool in a bid to further reduce infections during the winter period.

Called Biovigil, the hand washing reminder device is being trialled in a couple of the busiest areas – the emergency department and Ward 18 – at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for three months.

The small digital device, resembling a badge, will be worn by hospital staff on their upper torso, making it clearly visible to patients and other staff. 

“We think it will help encourage patients to start a ‘hand hygiene’ conversation with our staff, even if it is just to ask about the badge”

Samantha Sidwell

It detects hand movements and senses hand gel by changing colour from green, to flashing amber and red. Green means the hands are clean, flashing amber shows the hands are ready for washing and after a period of time if the hands remain uncleansed, the device beeps and turns red.

Maurice Madeo, deputy director of infection, prevention and control, said: “As winter approaches, most infections are becoming more active.  That’s why we decided to trail the Biovigil device at this time of year so that we can give it a good ‘road test’.”

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Maurice Madeo with the Biovigil device

“We already have a great track record of preventing infections, and we are always on the lookout for new ways to help us reduce them,” he added.

Samantha Sidwell, matron for the trust’s emergency care group, said: “The device is very visual and you can tell at a glance whether someone has clean hands. 

“We are hoping that it will bring extra confidence to our patients that the staff caring for them really do take precautions not to pass any infections on to them,” she said.

“We think it will help encourage patients to start a ‘hand hygiene’ conversation with our staff, even if it is just to ask about the badge,” she added.

The trust is working in partnership with B Braun, a healthcare innovations company. Biovigil is a US product which is being sponsored by B Braun.

The trust’s three-month pilot scheme represents the first time the product has been trialed in the UK.

  • 10 Comments

Readers' comments (10)

  • Just who are the 'hospital staff' I wonder who are wearing this 'device'?

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  • Wonder if the doctors will be wearing them too?

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  • I don't want to be an old curmudgeon but in my nursing days - 30-50 years ago - we washed our hands constantly. No alcohol hand gels then. Although the modern generation of antibiotics was coming in by the early 60s, most of the nurses who taught us had worked in pre-antibiotic days, and understood the importance of basic handwashing.

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  • Brilliant if the technology works! No one wants to be the "dirty" nurse!
    I DO think Drs. & admin staff should be wearing these to show solidarity with the goal though, don't you?

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  • what is the problem and all this fuss about? I always washed my hands thoroughly after any care or touching patients or anything contaminated to protect not only my patients and colleagues but also myself and indirectly my family and friends as well. I never heard such nonsense as hc personnel not washing their hands!

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  • Laha78

    I wonder how the medical staff will react to this!! We have a hard enough time trying to get ours to clip on a hand gel!!!

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  • we put our gel on notes trolley during ward rounds and between patient put a drop on our and the doctors hands if they don't think to do it themselves, but most do and the others soon learn.

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  • How much did this cost?

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  • Firstly, why? If healthcare professionals need an illuminated prompting system to deliver the precursor and closure of an episode of care, then....... Help! Traffic lights.
    Is there a queue at the sinks?
    This is an example of paying another professional out of uniform that could be developed by a toddler. Shocking.
    Visited a relative in a Doncaster hospital last week. Several soap dispensers were empty. The light was green. Is that okay?

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  • lol!

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