Electronic hand hygiene system fails to improve staff satisfaction in ICU

Anuja Vaidya (Twitter | Google+) - Print  | 

A study published in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control examined the effect of introducing an electronic hand hygiene surveillance and intervention system into an intensive care unit.

Researchers introduced the system into a general ICU at a tertiary care teaching hospital. The system leveraged radiofrequency transmitters in patient care areas placed on hand hygiene dispensers and individual personal bracelets. The transmitters, which were connected to a central computer, could detect entry and exit from patient areas as well as missed hand hygiene opportunities.

Researchers also conducted 41 staff satisfaction questionnaires followed by validation of system accuracy. They compared electronic data to human observer data.

The study shows that 51 percent of staff indicated low satisfaction with the electronic hand hygiene system, with low system accuracy (76 percent) and inconvenience (44 percent) cited most frequently as the reasons for low satisfaction.

Human observers recorded 10.9 ± 7.6 hand hygiene opportunities per hour, more than the 6.8 ± 6.9 opportunities per hour detected by the electronic system. Human observers also noted more hand hygiene performances per hour as compared to the system. There was low correlation between observers and the electronic system.

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