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”
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’.”
“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.