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Healthcare Key Findings – October 2012

Healthcare Key Findings – October 2012
New System Reminds Healthcare Professionals to Wash Their Hands

New System Reminds Healthcare Professionals to Wash Their Hands

Each year, up to 1.7 million hospital patients (one fifth of those admitted) contract infections in hospitals. According to the CDC, about 5% of those people die, and the increased costs to the hospital system can hit $30 billion annually. Hand hygiene is described as “the single most important factor in the prevention of health care-acquired infections.” But research shows that health workers have relatively low compliance to hand cleansing messages, despite strongly-worded signs in bathrooms, wards and intensive care units. One study of U.S. facilities found compliance at just 26% for ICUs, and 36% for non-ICUs.
A new product invented in Israel called Hyginex aims to help solve this problem. It is an integrated soap-dispensing and wristband alert system that reminds doctors and nurses approaching a new patient to wash their hands. If healthcare professionals haven’t washed their hands recently or well enough, a light and then a vibration is set off on their wrist bands. Two hospital trials found that compliance rates rose from 25% to 44% and more soap was being used after the system was introduced. The company plans a roll-out soon in the U.S. and Europe, though there are several competing systems using badges instead of bands. (


  • Some 16.3%, or 49.9 million Americans, were without health insurance in 2010. (U.S. Census Bureau).
  • 58% of Americans report that high costs forced them to go without or delay medical treatment in the past year. (Health Security Watch report, Kaiser Family Foundation)
  • People who sit all day are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack. (Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton, Rouge, La in Bloomberg
  • Childhood anxiety afflicts 13% of children in its assorted forms. (The Child Mind
  • The most popular age parents give their kids a cell phone is 12. (
  • Based on 2007-2009 data, 36% of U.S. teens are sexually active, with rates varying from 28% in Colorado and Vermont, to more than 45% in Georgia and Mississippi. (U.S. Census Bureau)

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