Headline July 13, 2014 / O''' *WORLD* !

O''' *WORLD* ! : 

Art work showing a medical pioneer who first discovered how imperative it is
for all healthcare personnel to wash their hands before treating patients

THE INVENTION itself is simple. It consists merely of adding a chip to the dispenser to monitor usage.

It is the psychology behind it that is mighty, clever, because instead of being intrusive and allocating blame, as it happens when dispensers in say, toilets are monitored by cameras-

To make sure people who have been to the lavatory do indeed  ''wash and sterilize their hands'',  -it relies on peer pressure. Individuals are not singled out wards are. 

What could be oppressive thus becomes a competitions between groups, rather than a finger wagging exercise within them. 

So, now the tale:

GIVING birth was a dangerous endeavour in the 1800s; many women died soon after doing so.

Ignaz Semmelweis,  an obstetrician working at the time at Vienna General Hospial observed that by washing his hands with bleach before he touched his patients he could reduce their mortality rate by  90%.

This was before Louis Pasteur established  'the germ theory of disease', and Semmelweis could not explain the correlation.

After he published his findings, though, many of his colleagues were offended at the suggestion that they did not have   "clean hands". After all doctors were gentlemen and-

 As Charles Meigs, another obstetrician, put it :  "a gentleman's hands are clean."

Discouraged, Semmelweis slipped into depression and was eventually committed to a lunatic asylum. He died  14days later, after being brutally beaten by the guards.

Hygiene in hospitals has come has come a long way since Semmelweis's time. But there is still room for improvement.

Every year nearly  100,000   people die in America alone from preventable infections acquired in hospitals.

An invention devised by Paul Alper of Deb Group,  a British skincare company, could help change this.

As in Semmelweis's day, unclean hands are a big cause of infection. Wards abound with devices that dispense antiseptic handwash, but they are not always used as frequently as they should-

The compliance rate is below  40%   in most hospitals. The DebMed Group Monitoring System  (GMS)  is intended to encourage staff to wash their hands.

The chip in each dispenser sends information to a remote server, where it is recorded, analysed and then made available either on the web or by email to hospital staff in an entirely automated process.

The GMS records the number of times dispensers are used in different parts of a hospital and compares this with an estimated reasonable usage, customised to the circumstances of each hospital.

This target is based on World Health Organization's  ''Five Moments For Hand Hygiene'' , a guide to the best  hand-washing practices for different types of contacts with the patients.

The ratio of actual to target scores gives the compliance rate for a particular unit or ward. Because this provides a rating for a group of people, nobody is singled out. 

And if compliance is low, the offenders can correct their behaviour collectively, behind closed doors, without the need for confrontation. 

If the system works as intended, it will save many, many lives. It should also save money, for treating hospital induced infections is costly.

According to Mr Alper, dozens of hospitals have already signed up for trials.

'''' The ghost of Ignaz Semmelweis  is  no doubt smiling ''''.

With respectful dedication to all the Students, Professors, Teachers dedicated to the honour of serving medicine and its practices. See Ya all on  !WOW!  - the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Innovation By Chemistry "'

Good night and God bless!

SAM Daily Times - The Voice of the Voiceless


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