Investigators in the UK utilized an electronic motion sensor–triggered audible hand hygiene reminder that was installed at hospital ward entrances. The alert played the following message: “Please clean your hands with hand rub dispensers when entering or exiting any clinical ward."
Trained hand hygiene observers were utilized to document hand hygiene pre/post the intervention.
Three thousand hand hygiene opportunities were observed. Overall hand hygiene adherence increased from 7.6% to 49.9% (P < .001). The adherence of visitors and nonclinical staff increased immediately from 10.6% to 63.7% and from 5.3% to 34.8%, respectively (P < .001). Adherence of doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists increased gradually from 4.5% to 38.3%, from 5.4% to 43.4%, and from 8.7% to 49.5%, respectively (P< .001).
It is encouraging to see an improvement in hand hygiene with a simple, electronic and automated intervention. The baseline hand hygiene of 7.6 % in the study ward is alarmingly low and an improvement to only 50% is also concerning. More work needs to be done there.
Nevertheless, electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems, in my opinion, can play an important role in improving compliance.