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Hologram to help promote infection control

06 January 2015

A nurse hologram is being used by a hospital in Ireland to encourage visitors and staff to wash their hands.

Visitors to Dublin-based Tallaght Hospital can expect to receive recorded advice on proper hand-hygiene techniques from the hologram, which is situated in the hospital's atrium and based on an existing staff nurse, Helen Corrigan.

The move is part of a new awareness initiative launched by the hospital with the theme ‘clean hands - save lives'. As well as the hologram, it includes a new uniform policy based on a ‘sleeves up' approach. This centres around ensuring that clinical staff are bare below the elbow, which is said to be good practice in terms of hand-hygiene. Information materials for visitors have also been improved.

The initiative was launched on an Infection Control Awareness Day held by the hospital on 10th December 2014, which aimed to highlight the importance of having clean hands. As part of this, patients were encouraged to ask clinical staff if they had washed their hands before attending to them.

"Washing our hands is the single most important act we can all do to control the transfer of infections in the clinical setting. This responsibility applies to staff, patients and visitors alike so collaboration and dialogue is vital. This Awareness Day shows that we are working hard to constantly improve the infection control procedures in our hospital," the hospital's CEO, David Slevin, said.

Also speaking about the initiative, clinical lead for the awareness day, Dr Daragh Fahey, insisted that when it comes to hand hygiene, the only acceptable figure in terms of compliance is 100%.

"This is why Tallaght Hospital staff are quite literally rolling up their sleeves to fight infection and engage with patients and visitors on the role they can play. The range of hospital activities and initiatives on the theme of ‘clean hands - save lives' has shown that education and engagement on infection control can be both informative and fun," Dr Fahey added.