MARRERO, La. -- It's estimated that tens of thousands of people die from healthcare associated illnesses every year in the United States.
'And over 50 percent of those are caused by health care workers taking an infection from one room on their hands and taking it into another room,' said Elena Fraser of Hygreen Hand Hygiene System.
That's why it's so important for health care workers to wash their hands. So the Louisiana Continuing Care Hospital in Marrero has a sensor system to alert workers if their hands are not clean.
The sensor lights up green when the system recognizes the worker's hands are clean.
But if she touches a bed rail or some other surface on the way to the patient, another sensor sends a signal to her electronic badge warning that her hands are not clean.
Fraser said studies show the system has reduced infections in one hospital by 89 percent.
Even more important, she said 'it absolutely saves lives.'
It's part of the battle many hospitals are ramping up against increasingly dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria.