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Lior Zoref

Crowdsourcing advocate, @liorz

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How can we make a behavioral change among medical personnel so that they’ll wash hands before examining each patient? It can save many lives

Here’s a question that might help save many lives.

Hospital-acquired infections are causing 100,000 deaths each year in the US and many more around the world. This is one of the biggest challenges in hospitals today.

Much of the ‘blame’ rests on the hospital staff, since these infections are transmitted far more often when hospital personnel fail to regularly wash hands and practice proper hygiene.

Hand washing is the single most important measure for reducing the risks of transmitting infections. Yet the harsh reality is that too many physicians and nurses, including those in the most advanced leading medical centers, do not bother to wash hands regularly although an antiseptic gel is accessible near every patient's bedside.

Many hospitals tried to take disciplinary enforcement measures but it doesn't seem to help. There's also a solution based on electronic systems (with RFID tags) but it's too expensive and complicated to implement broadly.

I’m working with Prof Gabi Barbash, CEO of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, in order to try and find a creative idea that might solve this problem.

Try to think of an idea that can make a behavioral change among the medical personnel so that they will all wash their hands before and after examining a patients.

Maybe together we’ll find an idea worth spreading to stop infections from spreading…

Thanks

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    Nov 20 2013: Idea #2: Make hands less receptive to bacteria

    Certain metals, such as Copper and Silver are known to have antibacterial properties.

    Also known are so called 'invisible gloves', which are actually noting more than a certain type of hand cream, which is composed in a way to fill in the micro-structure of our hands, so that dirt won't get down to it and to stick easily. I used this invisible gloves myself, especially while working with soot and/or oily substances, and the result are dirty hands which are way more easy to clean than without the use of this hand cream before.

    The idea now is to combine both - the antibacterial properties of silver in form of nano particles with a similar hand cream to fill in the micro-structure of our hands to form a longer lasting and also active as well as constantly spreading disinfection barrier.

    The first positive effect this 'invisible disinfection glove' will have is to reduce the surface area of the skin of hands, by filling all the micro structures and pores with antibacterial silver particles enriched cream, so that bacteria won't be able to settle 'down there' and those who manage to get there won't survive long due to the silver.

    Secondly, the remaining surface of the hand will mainly be antiseptic, again by the silver particles, which persistently settle within the micro-structures and also constantly smear across it.

    Thirdly, and positively, the 'invisible disinfection glove' constantly wears off and this as well at exactly those objects, which are known as general 'germ hubs', such as door handles, water tap valves and toilet brushes and will therefore constantly ensure collateral disinfection throughout the day by all medical personnel.

    Yet careful, this idea is just an idea and has not been dermatological tested yet. Also important is the nano particle factor here, as this technology is still new and still on 'the hype', which, at times makes, researchers less careful regarding side effects at daily use.

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