Hand hygiene in 2015: 7 findings

Most healthcare workers believe that electronic monitoring systems are significantly better for improving compliance than manual methods, although very few hospitals have these systems in place, according to a survey of more than 650 infection preventionists and nurses in the U.S. and 200 in Canada. However, the vast majority of respondents report considering the purchase of an electronic system within the next year.

Here are seven takeaways from the survey, conducted by DebMed.

• 98 percent of U.S. respondents report using manual methods of direct observation, such as "secret shoppers", to measure and report compliance at their respective facilities.
• 88 percent of U.S. respondents report believing that the Hawthorne Effect — the degree to which compliance improves when subjects believe they are being observed — overinflates compliance rates.
• 79 percent of U.S. respondents aren't extremely satisfied with the compliance data they're reporting.
• While 76 percent of U.S. respondents report believing that electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring is more accurate than direct observation, only 1.6 percent reported using these methods.

• 60 percent of U.S. respondents said their CEOs would include increased hand hygiene compliance as one of the top five priorities for their organization.
• 36 percent report currently considering an electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system.
• 79 percent of those considering making a hand hygiene-related purchase report having a budget, or plan to include a budget, for purchasing an electronic monitoring system.

More articles on infection control: 

Dirty endoscopes top ECRI's list of health technology hazards for 2016
AHA, CDC begin 3-year infection control improvement initiative for 300 hospitals
Infection control bundle including UV disinfection lowered SSIs to zero, study found


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