Hand Hygiene – Again

Angie SzumlinskiCompliance, Health

Health care-associated infections (HAI) and the spread of antimicrobial resistance are major public health concerns that are largely avoidable in health care by effective implementation of infection prevention and control best practices. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that performing hand hygiene (HH) correctly (“How to Handrub”) at the correct time (“5 Moments”) is the most effective measure to prevent HAI. Unfortunately, HH compliance remains suboptimal and new strategies are needed to improve implementation.

In a recent study, a novel, wearable device that monitors and provides real-time, personalized feedback to HCWs based on a simplified and customized HH action was developed. The device is the result of an investigator-initiated partnership between 3 Swiss Institutions and a medical device company. The aim was to test the impact of the electronic device on compliance with the WHO “5 Moments” for HH and on the quality of hand rubbing in daily patient-care activities.

The study showed that wearing the novel, electronic, wearable device did not improve HH compliance. However, wearing the device did improve the quality of the HH action, with a significant increase in both aBHR volume applied and in the duration of hand rubbing. Be sure you are out there with your staff, observing hand hygiene practices on a daily basis. The staff get busy, take shortcuts, forget, or simply choose not to adhere to best practices. Stop them in their tracks, and get them back on board; it could make a big difference!

Stay the course, stay well, mask up, get vaccinated, and stay tuned!

Hand Hygiene Recommendations: