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Electronic hand hygiene system fails to improve staff satisfaction in ICU

Date: Mon 15th April 2019

An electronic hand hygiene monitoring system employed in a tertiary care teaching hospital has been criticised for being both inaccurate and inconvenient.

The system, which was introduced into the ICU unit of an unnamed US hospital, was designed to detect healthcare staff's movements in patient areas and provide alerts on missed hand hygiene opportunities.

A network of radiofrequency transmitters in patient areas, on hand hygiene dispensers and on personal bracelets were connected to a central computer which continually collected real-time data on how frequently hand washing procedures were being carried out. Meanwhile, a human observer performed the same function.

However, a staff satisfaction questionnaire following the study revealed that 51 per cent of staff were unhappy with the system.

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