Can (and should?!) nurses be shamed into washing their hands at work?

iStock | GregorBister
iStock | GregorBister

Do you wash your hands as much as you should on the floor? New systems use a powerful emotion to make sure nurses and doctors do scrub up as often as they should: shame.

Biovigil is a badge worn by doctors and nurses that reminds them to wash their hands (and warns patients when they haven’t). The badge displays a yellow light and chirps when a person wearing it enters an exam room and hasn’t washed his or her hands. If the hands still go unwashed, the light turns red. Biovigil also collects hygiene data from all wearers to provide hospitals with overall sanitary records.

Another device, SwipeSense, calls itself “hand hygiene 2.0.” Instead of simply displaying whether or not the wearer washed his or her hands, the device clips on to a uniform and dispenses hand sanitizer.

These and other devices may combat the spread of bacteria in hospital settings, both in real-time and long-term. According to The Atlantic, less than half of healthcare workers wash their hands as often as they should.

Have you used these or similar devices? Would you wear them? Do you think nurses and doctors can–and should–be shamed into washing their hands? Share your thoughts below!

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