iScrub, an iPhone application pilot project that provided real-time feedback on hand hygiene compliance, had a significant impact on hand antisepsis among healthcare workers. Findings were presented by Jason Fries of the University of Iowa at the annual scientific meeting of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology (SHEA) earlier this month.
Fries explained that to improve hand-hygiene compliance, many hospitals track hand-hygiene rates using human observations and feed these rates back to healthcare workers. To facilitate and standardize the recording and collection of hand hygiene data, Fries reported that researchers at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics developed an iPhone App, called iScrub, and coupled it with a companion website to quickly and easily generate reports in near-real time.
During the pilot project, Fries reported that healthcare workers who had never used an iPhone were comfortable using the application with minimal instruction. Nurse managers used iScrub for a total of 8,982 observations over the period, for an average of 264.18 (s.d. 169.55) per week. Compliance rates for 12 types of healthcare workers -- both near-real-time and historical rates -- were clearly posted via the screen saver. Weekly compliance rates are given in Figure 1. The overall trend in the compliance rate during the study period was upward and statistically significant (trend estimate = 0.0260, model-based SE = 0.0096, p-value = 0.0065).
Reference: Hlady CS, Curtis DE, Fries J, Yang M, Segre AM and Polgreen PM. iScrub: A Pilot Intervention with Feedback from a Companion Website. Presented April 2, 2011 at the 2011 SHEA Scientific Meeting, Dallas, Texas.