Human tracking of hand hygiene compliance inadequate

A study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, examined direct human audit rates and compared it with automated surveillance rates for hand hygiene compliance.

Researchers conducted the study at a large Australian teaching hospital. The hospital had used automated surveillance while simultaneously performing mandatory human audits for 20 minutes each day in a medical and a surgical ward. They collected data from three quarterly reporting periods in 2014 and another three in 2015.

The study shows direct human audit rates for the medical ward were inflated by an average of 55 percentage points in 2014 and 64 percentage points in 2015, which is 2.8 to 3.1 times higher than automated surveillance rates.

The rates for the surgical ward were inflated by an average of 32 percentage points in 2014 and 31 percentage points in 2015, around 1.6 times higher than automated surveillance rates.

Overall, human audits collected an average of 255 hand hygiene opportunities, whereas automation collected 578 times more data, averaging 147,308 opportunities per quarter.

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