Use of electronic alerts to enhance hand hygiene compliance and decrease transmission of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus in a hematology unit

Arjun K. Venkatesh*, Mary G. Lankford, Denise M. Rooney, Todd Blachford, Charles M. Watts, Gary A Noskin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Hand hygiene (HH) compliance among health care workers (HCWs) has been historically low and hampered by poor surveillance methods. This study evaluated the use of an electronic device to measure and impact HH compliance. Methods: The study is a prospective, interventional study in a 30-bed academic medical center hematology unit. Phase I of the study monitored baseline HH compliance, and phase II monitored HH compliance using automatic alerts. The primary outcome measure was HH compliance, and the secondary end point was nosocomial transmission of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). Results: Eight thousand two hundred thirty-five HH opportunities were measured during the study, with HH compliance improvement from 36.3% at baseline to 70.1% during phase II. The use of audible alerts improved HH compliance for both the day shift (odds ratio [OR], 3.6) and the night shift (OR, 5.9), as well as across rooms with higher HCW traffic (OR, 1.6) and lower HCW traffic (OR, 3.2). Conclusion: Electronic devices can effectively monitor HH compliance among HCWs and facilitate improved adherence to guidelines. Electronic devices improve HH compliance regardless of time of day or room location. The development of innovative devices to improve HH is required to validate the long-term implications of this methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-205
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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