A Free Mobile Application Improves the Efficiency of Hand Hygiene Observation Collection: Experiences at a Pediatric Hospital in South Texas

Published:November 14, 2022DOI:


      Hand hygiene (HH) is the most important means of reducing hospital-acquired infections. However, compliance at healthcare facilities remains deficient. A process improvement study was conducted at a 191-bed, pediatric hospital in South Texas evaluating a free mobile application for HH surveillance, compared to traditional pen-and-paper methods. Using a series of PDSA cycles, the application was piloted on a small scale and then trialed facility-wide from June-November 2021; the number of HH audits was compared to the preceding period using percent change analysis. The mobile application resulted in 7,388 HH observations collected, compared with 3,082 previously, representing a 140% increase. Two staff roles in the process (data entry and analysis) were eliminated, as observations were pushed directly to the Infection Preventionist, eliminating approximately 8 hours of staff time monthly. The application enabled almost real-time updates to the HH surveillance dashboard and improved the detailedness of the data as more variables were collected during each HH observation. This is a practical alternative for innovating HH observation compared with more sophisticated and expensive HH surveillance technology.


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