Patient Safety | 06.01.23
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Hand Hygiene Monitoring System
Proper hand hygiene significantly impacts health care–acquired infections, and monitoring completion is essential to improving performance. Some hospitals use an electronic system (EMS) to help monitor adherence. A typical EMS uses a personalized badging system to identify hand hygiene adherence down to the individual health care provider (HCP) level. Each HCP is issued a badge holder/reel with Bluetooth technology to communicate with sensors placed in the alcohol foam and soap dispensers. Additional sensors are placed at the door of all patient care rooms. The EMS correlates a room entry/exit with an HCP badge and interaction with a hand hygiene dispenser immediately before or after the entry/exit. An alert sounds as a reminder if a hand hygiene event is not detected within a defined time. Cloud-based technology gathers all data points, with almost real-time results available via the EMS computer program platform. Overall, continual process improvement activities resulted in a 26% increase in hand hygiene performance, from 50% at baseline to 76%, in 1.5 years. Current hand hygiene performance is averaging 84% across the health system.