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Electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems can be well-tolerated by health workers: Findings of a qualitative study

Kelly, D., Purssell, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-3748-0864, Wigglesworth, N. and Gould, D. J. (2021). Electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems can be well-tolerated by health workers: Findings of a qualitative study. Journal of Infection Prevention, doi: 10.1177/17571774211012781

Abstract

Background: Electronic hand hygiene monitoring overcomes limitations associated with manual audit but acceptability to health workers varies and may depend on culture of the ward and the nature of the system.

Objectives: Evaluate the acceptability of a new fifth type electronic monitoring system to frontline health workers in a National Health Service trust in the UK.

Methods: Qualitative interviews with 11 informants following 12 months experience using an electronic monitoring system.

Results: Informants recognised the importance of hand hygiene and embraced technology to improve adherence. Barriers to hand hygiene adherence included heavy workload, dealing with emergencies and ergonomic factors related to placement of alcohol dispensers. Opinions about the validity of the automated readings were conflicting. Some health workers thought they were accurate. Others reported problems associated with differences in the intelligence of the system and their own clinical decisions. Opinions about feedback were diverse. Some health workers thought the system increased personal accountability for hand hygiene. Others ignored feedback on suboptimal performance or ignored the data altogether. It was hard for health workers to understand why the system registered some instances of poor performance because feedback did not allow omissions in hand hygiene to be related to the context of care.

Conclusion: Electronic monitoring can be very well tolerated despite some limitations. Further research needs to explore different reactions to feedback and how often clinical emergencies arise. Electronic and manual audit have complementary strengths.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage). Kelly, D., Purssell, E. , Wigglesworth, N. and Gould, D. J. (2021). Electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems can be well-tolerated by health workers: Findings of a qualitative study. Journal of Infection Prevention. Copyright © [2021] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/17571774211012781
Publisher Keywords: Hand hygiene, electronic hand hygiene monitoring, qualitative research
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Nursing
Date available in CRO: 12 Jul 2021 11:39
Date deposited: 12 July 2021
Date of acceptance: 6 April 2021
Date of first online publication: 23 June 2021
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/26362
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