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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 24 2013: Hi Bart,
    Current research shows that most infections are transmitted by the medical personnel. Antiseptic gel or spray is widely available near every patient's bed but still hospital personnel fail to regularly wash hands before each patient.
    Lior

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