Pilot study of digital tools to support multimodal hand hygiene in a clinical setting

Published:October 24, 2017DOI:


      • This article describes a combination of digital tools to support multimodal hand hygiene campaigns.
      • A common data interchange format was developed for 3 audit and training tools in hand hygiene.
      • The data from the 3 tools were combined to calculate a combined risk score for an active clinical setting.
      • The combined risk score was feedback to staff, patients, and visitors and was positively received.


      Digital tools for hand hygiene do not share data, limiting their potential to support multimodal programs. The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom, worked with GOJO (in the United States), MEG (in Ireland), and SureWash (in Ireland) to integrate their systems and pilot their combined use in a clinical setting.


      A 28-bed medical oncology unit piloted the system for 5 weeks. Live data from the tools were combined to create a novel combined risk status metric that was displayed publicly and via a management Web site.


      The combined risk status reduced over the pilot period. However, larger and longer duration studies are required to reach statistical significance. Staff and especially patient reaction was positive in that 70% of the hand hygiene training events were by patients. The digital tools did not negatively impact clinical workflow and received positive engagement from staff and patients. The combined risk status did not change significantly over the short pilot period because there was also no specific hand hygiene improvement campaign underway at the time of the pilot study.


      The results indicate that integrated digital tools can provide both rich data and novel tools that both measure impact and provide feedback to support the implementation of multimodal hand hygiene campaigns, reducing the need for significant additional personnel resources.

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