Sanibit Triples Hand Hygiene Compliance

May 28, 2021

Hospital-acquired infections are one of the most common adverse events in health care delivery, affecting 7%−10% of all patients. These infections result in more than 400,000 deaths and $20 billion in annual healthcare costs. One of the most effective ways to reduce hospital-acquired infections is by improving hand hygiene compliance among healthcare providers. Yet, compliance remains low and difficult to measure and improve. To attempt to address this, we conducted an NIH-sponsored trial, installing Sanibit in a 10-bed surgical intensive care unit.

Sanibit is an automated, sensor-based platform. It provides monitoring and analysis of hand hygiene compliance and quality, as well as providing real-time feedback to healthcare providers. While some hand hygiene compliance monitoring systems use only high-level measures like hand sanitizer consumption, Sanibit does more. Following guidelines set out by the WHO and the CDC, Sanibit measures individual health care providers’ room entries and exits as well as their exact hand hygiene quality at those opportunities. If a provider misses a hand hygiene opportunity, Sanibit will send them a real-time personal alert. The Sanibit App not only makes it possible for managers and administrators to target hand hygiene interventions to individual providers or rooms, but also provides those individuals with personalized feedback and motivation.

During its 16-week trial, Sanibit more than tripled participants’ hand hygiene compliance rate. The trial was conducted with only limited interventions to participants, as required by the Institutional Review board; insights in the Sanibit App that would allow targeted interventions by administrators and managers were disabled. Following the trial, we compiled our results into our paper “Implementing an electronic hand hygiene system improved compliance in the intensive care unit”. The peer-reviewed paper was published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

The research was sponsored by National Institutes of Health under grants R44AG060848 and R43NR017372.

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