Maintaining proper hand hygiene has direct life-and-death consequences at health care facilities. This critical responsibility is shared not only with staff in the front lines, but also the public and patients they serve to protect. Traditional “classroom” hand hygiene training creates incrementally positive outcomes on a temporary basis, but without ongoing reinforcement, even the most conscientious staff members have been proven to relapse back to poor practices. The challenge is that most individuals require immediate and direct feedback to reinforce new practices. Studies have found that individuals will perform proper hand sanitation practices correctly only three times following new training before returning to their old behaviors. Hospital workers are generally willing to comply with hand hygiene requirements; however, the goal is to ensure they perform good hand hygiene without additional cognitive load, or requiring ongoing supervision. Identifying areas of the hands that are commonly overlooked improves personal technique, with positive outcomes for overall patient care.
Is technology-driven behavioral change possible?
Case studies from facilities that use the Hand-in-Scan™ Semmelweis Systems show that having immediate diagnostic feedback creates permanent improvements in the behaviours of ICU and NICU staff. In an average of just two months, the data consistently show highly-positive outcomes and a significant reduction in contamination rates. Simply put, having regular technology-driven training and digital reminders creates a positive shift in workplace culture and staff behaviours. This, in turn, encourages continuous improvement, creates heightened protections for everyone, minimizes staff absenteeism, and reduces mortality rates for those vulnerable to infection. With the proper guidance and technology, perfect hand hygiene is not only a possibility, but thankfully, it is also an inevitability.