ARDMORE, Pa.―Hand hygiene is the single most important component of an infection control program. However, compliance remains at or below 50 percent, according to a study called "Electronic Hand Hygiene Compliance Interventions: A Descriptive Guide for the Infection Prevention Team," which ran in the November/December issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality.
The authors are Maryanne McGuckin, Dr ScEd, MT (ASCP), and John Govednik, MS, both of McGuckin Methods International.
To improve compliance, a growing number of hand hygiene compliance interventions apply electronics-based technologies in their methods for measurement and feedback. McGuckin and Govednik describe these as automated/semiautomated interventions (ASAIs) in recognition of the fact that human data gathering is becoming more automated with technology.
Existing peer-reviewed studies are important criteria in evaluating technology concepts; however, there is little evidence-based research documenting the reliability of installation-ready devices in one or more clinical settings. The limited availability of peer-reviewed clinical studies that evaluate and compare installation-ready systems often leaves the infection control team with no option but to make decisions from non-peer-reviewed marketing messages.
The number of ASAIs at or nearing availability for healthcare facilities is increasing steadily, and the researchers suggest that there is no centralized effort to summarize the opportunities provided by manufacturers and clinical evaluations available in the scientific literature. Their descriptive survey provides a process and educational tool for healthcare workers and infection control teams to use when reviewing unique features of ASAIs.