Hospitals Stepping Up Enforcement of Hand-Washing for Employees


There are many different ways that someone who is already ill or injured can be harmed while in the course of obtaining medical care.  In fact, hospitals are known to be high-risk environments for the spread of infections and other viruses because of the fact that there are so many sick people and germs present.  As such, hospital staffs generally have entire teams of people dedicated to nothing but sanitizing the environment as much as possible in order to minimize the chance that someone will contract a virus based on airborne contact.

However, all of those efforts go for naught when hospital employees, particularly caregivers such as nurses, fail to take steps to minimize the risks that they also present because of all of the direct contact that they have with many different patients.  Specifically, nurses and other care providers are encouraged if not required to wash their hands whenever they venture into a different hospital room to prevent the unnecessary spread of germs.  When they do not, patients can become extremely if not violently ill as a result.

Failing to prevent the spread of disease or infections in a hospital is a form of negligence that can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits if the spread of those bugs could have been avoided.  Not washing your hands would likely be something that New York medical malpractice lawyers would consider to be negligent behavior.  That’s why new programs are popping up in area hospitals that are penalizing employees for not washing their hands when they enter a new hospital room.

These steps are being taken in a unique way, as some hospitals in the New York area have contracted with a company in India that monitors hospital rooms via video feed to check to make sure that anyone who enters these rooms washes their hands within 10 seconds of moving through the doorway.  People are recorded and violators are reported to the employers.  Different hospitals have different programs set up to both penalize employees who do not wash their hands and to encourage those in these positions to do so.

The bottom line is that failing to uphold basic sanitation standards is something that can and does cost medical facilities much in the way of financial liability when people become ill because of it and file lawsuits in response.  This preventative measure is one of what is expected to be many in the near future that closely monitor this and other protocols that are designed not only to minimize the spread of germs, but also to minimize the potential liability of medical care facilities.

While this is and should be considered a positive step, the bottom line is that people will still fall ill because of mistakes made by the medical professionals who are supposed to protect them from additional harm.  If you or someone you love has suffered because of these types of mistakes, contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.