Healthcare worker hand hygiene is thought to be one of the most important strategies to prevent healthcare-associated infections, but compliance is generally poor. Hand hygiene improvement interventions must include audits of compliance (almost always with feedback), which are most often done by direct observation - a method that is expensive, subjective, and prone to bias. New technologies, including electronic and video hand hygiene monitoring systems, have the potential to provide continuous and objective monitoring of hand hygiene, regular feedback, and for some systems, real-time reminders. We propose a systematic review of the evidence supporting the effectiveness of these systems. The primary objective is to determine whether hand hygiene monitoring systems yield sustainable improvements in hand hygiene compliance when compared to usual care.
MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and other relevant databases will be searched for randomized control studies and quasi-experimental studies evaluating a video or electronic hand hygiene monitoring system. A standard data collection form will be used to abstract relevant information from included studies. Bias will be assessed using the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care Group Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. Studies will be reviewed independently by two reviewers, with disputes resolved by a third reviewer. The primary outcome is directly observed hand hygiene compliance. Secondary outcomes include healthcare-associated infection incidence and improvements in hand hygiene compliance as measured by alternative metrics. Results will be qualitatively summarized with comparisons made between study quality, the measured outcome, and study-specific factors that may be expected to affect outcome (for example, study duration, frequency of feedback, use of real-time reminders). Meta-analysis will be performed if there is more than one study of similar systems with comparable outcome definitions.
Electronic and video monitoring systems have the potential to improve hand hygiene compliance and prevent healthcare-associated infection, but are expensive, difficult to install and maintain, and may not be accepted by all healthcare workers. This review will assess the current evidence of effectiveness of these systems before their widespread adoption.
PROSPERO registration number: CRD42013004519