Speaking Up For Patient Safety, And Survival

By Tina Rosenberg

On Tuesday, I wrote about a new technological system that might help hospitals to accurately track whether health care workers are washing their hands, and remind them to do so in real time. The reason hospitals might want to spend the money to install such an expensive fix is that so far, very few hospitals have been able to get their hand-washing rates above 50 percent.

Health care workers’ failure to clean their hands is the most important cause of hospital-based infections, which are the fourth-leading cause of death in America and cost our health care system some $40 billion a year.

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