Monday, November 28, 2011

LED Displays in Hospitals Improve Compliance through Feedback

I recently blogged about "The Power of the Feedback Loop" and then came upon this article from The New York Times about an interesting application of this concept that I thought I should share.

ICUs in North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY are using LED displays to provide instant reminders and feedback to staff:




The initiative is based on a system developed by a private company called Arrowsight. It employs video-surveillance of staff as they enter and exit patient rooms. Random snippets of video are monitored by employees in India who rate each event as pass or fail. Nurse managers receive close-to-realtime information about hand hygiene rates, and the LED displays provide positive reinforcement when the hand hygiene rate for the shift meets the target.

The results:

  • Hand hygiene compliance has improved from 6.5% to over 80%. 
  • Rates of hospital-acquired infection are reported to have dropped. 
  • The culture of the institution with respect to hand hygiene appears to be changing. 
The concept of analyzing video tape for compliance with clinical processes and converting that into data and feedback is highly intriguing, although privacy advocates will be duly concerned about the monitoring implications. The cost of the technology may also prove to be limiting to widespread dissemination. However, I love the innovativeness of the solution, its incorporation into the clinical workflow, and its harnessing of the power of the feedback loop in changing behavior.

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