The commentary was prepared in response to the manuscript "Healthcare-Associated Infections as Patient Safety Indicators," by Gardam, Lemieux, Reason, van Dijk and Goel. Healthcare-associated infections are a severe patient safety hazard. Current patient safety initiatives targeting increased healthcare worker hand hygiene to prevent some of these infections have had limited effect. This commentary describes recent advances in electronic sensing and computational power that have provided new options to increase hand hygiene compliance as a step toward reducing healthcare-associated infections. Smart electronics can provide reasoning about a healthcare worker's circumstance and prompt the worker to perform hand hygiene when necessary. These novel approaches in technology development have tremendous potential to enhance the hand hygiene of healthcare workers and can support the prevention of this significant problem for patients in our hospitals.
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