Validation of a hand hygiene visual feedback system to improve compliance with drying time of alcohol-based hand rub in a neonatal intensive care unit: the Incubator Traffic Light system

R. H.J. van Gils*, R. F. Kornelisse, J. Dankelman, O. K. Helder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Compliance with the recommended 30 s drying time of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is often suboptimal. To increase hand hygiene compliance at a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), we installed an Incubator Traffic Light (ITL) system which shows ‘green light’ to open incubator doors after the recommended drying time. Aim: To measure the impact of this visual feedback system on NICU healthcare professionals' compliance with the recommended ABHR drying time. Methods: Ten traffic light systems were installed on incubators at a NICU, five of which provided visual feedback, and five, serving as a control group, did not provide visual feedback. During a two-month period, the systems measured drying time between the moment of dispensing ABHR and opening the incubator's doors. The drying times of the incubators were compared with and without feedback. Findings: Of the 6422 recorded hand hygiene events, 658 were valid for data analysis. Compliance with correct drying time reached 75% (N = 397/526) for incubators equipped with visual feedback versus 36% (N = 48/132; P < 0.0001) for incubators lacking this feature. Conclusion: The ITL improves compliance with the recommended 30 s ABHR drying time in a NICU setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-217
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Volume145
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

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Publisher Copyright: © 2024 The Author(s)

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