Impact of a Voice on Hand Hygiene

By Chris Hermann

When a busy healthcare provider forgets to clean their hands, a human voice does the best job of reminding them to do so. Want evidence? We’ve got it.

Within our patent-pending process, the single biggest driver of hand hygiene performance is our Real-Time Voice Reminder™, which reminds clinicians to “Please sanitize” when they forget. (Or, when they’re exiting a C. diff room – and depending on hospital protocol – it can say “Soap and water only.”)

Across our hospital customers, once the voice reminder is turned on, hand hygiene performance more than doubles on average. When we first install our system, we do it with the voice off to allow us to collect data which in turn is used to customize our sensors to each individual unit or room. This also allows us to get a very accurate baseline of the hospital’s hand hygiene performance. As seen in the chart below, we took performance data from several of our hospitals and normalized it to this baseline (dark gray bar). After we turn the voice reminder on, hand hygiene statistically more than doubles, with some hospitals even tripling their hand hygiene rates.

Impact of Voice on Hand Hygiene

We have had hospitals turn the voice reminder off due to a research study or to upgrade sensors. Within six weeks of the voice being turned off, hand hygiene performance drops back to this baseline in every case. We have seen numerous times that hand hygiene performance isn’t sustainable without that in-the-moment reminder every time it’s needed. This is largely because providers are very busy and typically don’t realize the times that they forget to perform hand hygiene. (Read more in They Think They’re Cleaning Their Hands…They’re Wrong.)

Fortunately, when we turn the voice back on again, hand hygiene performance returns to the previous level within six weeks. There’s a direct correlation between the voice reminder and hand hygiene.

But…the point of hand hygiene, of course, is to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Does the voice also correlate with reduced HAIs? We’ll cover this topic next week.

Our system has reduced HAIs by an average of over 60% for our 10 most recent, consecutive installations. If you’d like to learn more, download our free white paper now. Or contact us so we can discuss your hospital’s specific needs.

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