Dragons Den idea to help to tackle infections at hospital

Theatre staff test their hand washing technique with SID.
Theatre staff test their hand washing technique with SID.

Staff at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust are embracing technology to help reduce hospital-acquired infections.

Ensuring staff are carrying out correct and effective hand hygiene technique is a simple but effective way keeping infections like C.difficile and MRSA at bay.

But giving clinical staff time away from the ward environment to train in a classroom can be difficult, so now a new electronic training device, called SID, is bringing the training directly to staff on the wards.

SID, which stands for successful innovative demonstration, is a mobile training unit which uses video-measurement technology to teach and evaluate hand hygiene techniques in real-time and a fun way.

Staff wash their hands virtually in front of SID which tracks their movements and lets them them know whether they are doing it correctly. The unit then uses a quiz style method to test them on other aspects of infection prevention as part of their mandatory training.

One of the main benefits of SID is that staff can complete their training without having to leave the ward and they can do it any time of day, so even on the night shift.

As part of a Dragons Den event held at the Trust, SID has been hired for three months to help ensure staff at Grimsby, Goole and Scunthorpe hospitals are up-to-date with their infection prevention and control training which has to be completed every one to three years depending on their role.

Viv Duncanson, lead nurse for infection prevention at the Trust, and Tara Filby, deputy chief nurse, pitched for SID in the Dragons Den. Viv said: “We have to ensure that everyone who come into contact with patients is trained in correct and effective hand hygiene techniques. SID assures us staff are getting it right. It should be second nature and that’s what SID helps them achieve. The beauty of SID is that it goes into wards and departments so that doctors, nurses and other staff can train and assess themselves when it is convenient rather than in a classroom at a set time.”

Visitors also have a key part to play in keeping infections at bay by using the hand gel at the entrances to each ward, keeping visiting to two people at a time and by not sitting on the patient’s bed. They are also advised not to visit if they have had symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea in the last 48 hours.