Implementing an electronic hand hygiene monitoring system: Lessons learned from community hospitals

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HighlightsImplementing electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems is challenging.Well-planned implementation strategies and sharing of best practices is key.Meaningful use of data empowers staff and supports patient safety goals.Strategies must also include plans for ongoing support and maintenance.BackgroundMeasuring and providing feedback about hand hygiene (HH) compliance is a complicated process. Electronic HH monitoring systems have been proposed as a possible solution; however, there is little information available about how to successfully implement and maintain these systems for maximum benefit in community hospitals.MethodsAn electronic HH monitoring system was implemented in 3 community hospitals by teams at each facility with support from the system vendor. Compliance rates were measured by the electronic monitoring system. The implementation challenges, solutions, and drivers of success were monitored within each facility.ResultsThe electronic HH monitoring systems tracked on average more than 220,000 compliant HH events per facility per month, with an average monthly compliance rate >85%. The sharing of best practices between facilities was valuable in addressing challenges encountered during implementation and maintaining a high rate of use.DiscussionDrivers of success included a collaborative environment, leadership commitment, using data to drive improvement, consistent and constant messaging, staff empowerment, and patient involvement.ConclusionsRealizing the full benefit of investments in electronic HH monitoring systems requires careful consideration of implementation strategies, planning for ongoing support and maintenance, and presenting data in a meaningful way to empower and inspire staff.

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