Improving hand hygiene in pandemic conditions

Digital solutions like Sani nudge help minimize healthcare related infection, even in understaffed circumstances

The rapid spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (COVID-19) has taxed healthcare systems worldwide. As hospitalizations have skyrocketed, resources typically dedicated to the prevention of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) have been diverted.

Data on the impact of COVID-19 on the spread of healthcare associated infections is still extremely limited. However, the results of an informal Twitter poll conducted in April 2020 provides early insight into the impact of the pandemic. Of the 220 respondents from the infection prevention and hospital epidemiology community, nearly 80% indicated spending more than 75% of their time on COVID-19 response efforts (Stevens, et al, 2020).

The commentary published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology by Stevens and colleagues from the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System goes on to note that COVID-19 pandemic conditions are likely to compromise data collection related to “conventional infection prevention duties” like hand hygiene . “In the absence of real-time HAI surveillance and provider and unit feedback,” the authors state, “an increase in subsequent HAIs is likely”. 

Still, in these pandemic conditions, vigilant infection prevention and hand hygiene are more important than ever. Fortunately, digital solutions like Sani nudge helps infection prevention teams focus their efforts and improve healthcare worker hygiene while minimizing the demands on infection prevention personnel. This is highly needed and underlined by a recent study published in the Lancet which found that front-line healthcare workers are at higher risk of COVID-19. By automatically collecting data, providing insights, and motivating hospital staff to improve and maintain critical hand hygiene habits, Sani nudge has measurable impact.

study in the Lancet Infectious Diseases concludes that new monitoring approaches for healthcare workers during the corona pandemic are needed and should focus on risk stratification and suitable clinical monitoring. The COVIDtrace project led by Sani nudge and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) with support from Innovation Fund Denmark (Innovationsfonden) evidences the potential for Sani nudge’s solutions in not only improving hand hygiene and decreasing the risk of healthcare related infections, but also but also notifying caregivers who have been exposed to COVID-19 positive patients or colleagues which allows for prompt interventions to decrease the spread of COVID-19.

With Sani nudge, creating and maintaining excellent hand hygiene conditions is automated and easy, allowing healthcare teams to deliver the best possible care and focus on the challenges at hand. 

Reference: 

Bielicki, J; Duval, X; Gobat, N; Goosens, H; Koopmans, M; Taccconelli, E; et. al. (2020) Monitoring approaches for health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE LANCET Infectious Diseases, 20, 10, E261-E267. dos: 10.01/2020

Stevens, M. P.; Doll, M.; Pryor, R.; Godbout, E.; Cooper, K.; & Bearman, G. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 on traditional healthcare-associated infection prevention efforts. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 41, 946–947. doi:10.1017/ice.2020.141

If you are curious to know more about infection prevention and how to avoid spread of pathogens, do not hesitate to contact the Sani nudge team.

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