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April 17, 2013

The Power of Video RecordingTaking Quality to the Next Level

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

JAMA. 2013;309(15):1591-1592. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.595

In medicine, the problems of wide variations in quality and poor compliance with evidence-based care are well known. More education is not the solution for these problems. Knowledge is abundant, but implementation of knowledge often lags. This Viewpoint explores whether use of an existing technology, video recording of medical procedures, can improve quality of care.

Although the World Health Organization's hand washing declaration and aggressive global awareness campaign has been long established, behavior change among health care workers remains a persistent struggle. For instance, at Long Island's North Shore University Hospital, hand washing compliance rates were consistently low despite educational efforts. In response to these low rates, the hospital took an assertive approach to solving the problem by installing cameras to monitor hand washing rates. The outcome data were reported to the staff and as a result, compliance increased from 6.5% to 81.6%,1 demonstrating the potential power of this technology in the medical setting.

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