Web Camera Used to Assess Hand Hygiene Compliance

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Researchers in Japan conducted a study in which a web camera was used to examine hand hygiene adherence. The camera was installed in the intensive care unit (ICU) in September 2010, video from the camera was relayed to the department of infection control via the hospital’s intranet, and that video was saved on a server for later observation. Starting in December 2010, personnel on both the day and night shifts were assessed for a total of 100 hours using the observation form of the WHO Patient Safety team.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer was used 170L per 1,000 patients. Conventional observation by ward nurses indicated that compliance with hand hygiene before touching a patient was 77 percent. Direct observation with the web camera indicated that hand hygiene was required 11.6 times/hour for each patient. Adherence to hand hygiene was 22.5 percent. Compliance with hand hygiene was 25.3 percent before touching a patient, 25.2 percent before a clean/aseptic procedure, 14.0 percent after body fluid exposure risk, 30.6 percent after touching a patient, and 11.5 percent after touching patient surroundings. After improved education of and practices by healthcare practitioners, staff were again observed for 100 hours. Adherence to hand hygiene was found to have improved to 33.8 percent.

The researchers concluded that direct observation with a web camera allowed video to be recorded and saved for long periods and it allowed practices to be assessed. The saved video was circulated among the healthcare practitioners to allow a more objective intervention.Their research was presented at the International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC).

Reference: H Kunishima, K Tokuda, M Meguro, T Kobayashi, J Chiba, T Aoyagi, M Hatta, M Kitagawa, Y Honda and M Kaku. Assessment of hand hygiene adherence using a web camera. Presentation at the International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC). BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 6):P104doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S6-P104

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