An Evidence – Based Approach to Measuring Hand Hygiene Compliance
The statistics around healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are widely known, yet challenging to address. Hand hygiene compliance plays a key role in healthcare infection control and the prevention of HAIs, and the method by which facilities measure compliance makes a significant difference in clinical outcomes.
Just Doing In and Out Puts Patients at Risk.
It’s no secret when it comes to tracking hand hygiene compliance that direct observation is extremely inaccurate and only represents a fraction of hand hygiene events. In fact, it captures only room entry and exit or “in and out” events, which represent less than 49% of all hand hygiene opportunities.
Pitfalls of Direct Observation
Multiple studies have shown direct observation reveals a minor snapshot of compliance, capturing only 1.2% – 3.5%1 of all events, and it can overstate actual compliance by up to 300%.2
DebMed worked with Columbia University to determine hand hygiene opportunity benchmarks for different unit and hospital types, based on the WHO ‘5-Moments’ for Hand Hygiene. Published as the HOW2 Study (PDF) in the American Journal of Infection Control, the research resulted in the ability to reliably predict the expected number of hand hygiene opportunities for any facility or unit, providing us with the final piece of the puzzle in determining true compliance around all of the ‘5-Moments.’
The DebMed Difference: Clinically Proven Outcomes
The impact of an electronic hand hygiene compliance system is undeniable, but not all systems provide the highest standard of measurement to achieve positive clinical outcomes. By knowing the accurate number of hand hygiene opportunities and comparing them to 100% of all hand hygiene events collected from our system, we are able to provide true compliance rates and be the catalyst for lasting behavior change.
It’s time to create a safer environment for patients, their families, staff and visitors. DebMed is here to partner with you to change how you approach hand hygiene.