Monitoring Hand hygiene Compliance among Healthcare Workers at a Tertiary Care Center: Use of Secret Observers Is the Way Forward

Academic Article


  • Abstract Background Hand-hygiene (HH) is known to be the most effective way to reduce healthcare acquired conditions (HACs). Despite being a simple answer to the complex HAC issue, compliance with HH practice has been abysmal with reported compliance rate of 40% among healthcare workers (HCWs). In 2015, compliance rate with HH at Detroit Medical Center (DMC) was reported to be 100% when direct observers were used to monitor compliance. In order to confirm the previously reported compliance rates, this study used secret observers to audit HH compliance and provide performance feedback to HCWs. Methods A prospective observational study was conducted at DMC from June 2016 to December 2016. Hand hygiene committee was established comprising of Infection Prevention and Hospital leadership members. Trained medical residents were appointed as “secret observers” to provide accurate HH reporting. HH auditing was performed using the smartphone app “Speedy audits” to survey and capture the 5 moments of hand hygiene among HCWs. Compliance reports based on different professions, hospital sites, unit locations and auditors were generated using online web portal and analyzed to determine HH compliance rate. Results During the 7-month study period when secret observers were used, a total of 1229 HCWs were observed. Overall, the HH opportunity compliance rate was 31% (916 complied opportunities /2939 opportunities). Hand hygiene compliance rates drastically fell when secret observers were used (31% compared with 100% in 2015 using direct observers). Based on two major before and after patient contact indications, 1022 compliances were observed from 3343 opportunities (30.5% compliance rate). The other compliance rates were 44% before aseptic procedure, 35% after body fluid exposure and 20% after patient environment contact [Figure 1]. Based on profession, compliance rates were lowest among nurses (613/2058; 30%) and medical students (36/169; 21%) when compared with physicians (445/957; 46%). Conclusion Hand-hygiene monitoring by secret observers with use of smartphone app is a feasible and accurate way for tracking HH compliance. The advantage of generating profession-based and unit-based reports for feedback will help to promote HH awareness and improve adherence rates. Disclosures All authors: No reported disclosures.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Krishna A; Navalkele B; Pervaiz A; Kotecha A; Maroof S; Stern D; Robinson K; Kado J; Flanagan E; Hussain S
  • Start Page

  • S409
  • End Page

  • S409
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • suppl_1