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Using Technology to Measure Hand Hygiene Compliance Rates

April 16, 2015


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Currently, the most widely used method of measuring hand hygiene compliance is observation. However, similar to complying with hand hygiene, simply using observation as a measurement tool leaves the results open to human error. Observers are limited to where they can observe and sometimes the knowledge that you are being observed may remind healthcare professionals to wash their hands, potentially leading to inflated compliance rates.

To more accurately understand hand hygiene compliance rates new technologies have been developed. These technologies use real-time location systems via mini wireless networks to track employee movement. The systems even include sensors on hand sanitizers to measure exact use. The benefit of this kind of technology is that it provides a much more accurate picture of compliance. With that picture hospitals and healthcare professionals will be able to develop more specific protocol to increase compliance rates. The new technology can even increase hand hygiene rates by reminding healthcare professionals to wash their hands.

Many of these systems utilize sensors that are worn by healthcare professionals. When the personnel sensors are in range of measurement sensors within patient rooms, near sinks, and on hand sanitizers, healthcare professionals are reminded to wash their hands. The sensors then measure whether the healthcare professional was compliant or not. All data is fed back to a reporting system, giving administrators the ability to effectively change hand hygiene behaviors.

With a more accurate measurement system in place hospitals and healthcare facilities can work more effectively to achieve 100% compliance with hand hygiene and improve patient safety.

Further Reading

Punke, Heather. 2015, February 2. Hand hygiene in 2015: Embrace the new number.

HyGreen and Hand Hygiene: How It Works.


The information provided in this resource does not constitute legal, medical or any other professional advice, nor does it establish a standard of care. This resource has been created as an aid to you in your practice. The ultimate decision on how to use the information provided rests solely with you, the PolicyOwner.