The research proposed here will show the feasibility of an electronic method to measure and report hand hygiene compliance, called Monitor for Hand Hygiene on Patient Contact (MHHPC). MHHPC will determine, record and report whether anyone touching a hospital patient washed or sanitized their hands before or after doing so. This topic is important because hand hygiene is the most cost effective means of preventing hospital-acquired infections, which cost about $40 billion and cause about 99,000 deaths in the US each year. Merely increasing adherence to currently recommended practices, such as hand hygiene, can result in a dramatic reduction in those costs. It is essential to measure a hospital
Public Health Relevance
Electronic Measurement of Hand Hygiene on Opportunity will enable health care and other facilities to measure their hand hygiene rates on opportunity such as patient contact, rather than on average or at selected times of day. It will do so objectively, repeatedly and reliably. As a result, Infection Control Practitioners will be able to compare their hospital's hand hygiene rates to those of other hospitals and to national standards, and to evaluate an intervention's value in real time. These advantages will potentially leading to significant savings in dollars and human lives.