Authors : Radhakrishna K, Waghmare A, Ekstrand M, Raj T, Selvam S, Sreerama SM, Sampath S
Publication Year : 2015
The aim of this study is to increase hand sanitizer usage among healthcare workers by developing and implementing a low-cost intervention using RFID and wireless mesh networks to provide real-time alarms for increasing hand hygiene compliance during opportune moments in an open layout Intensive Care Unit (ICU). A wireless, RFID based system was developed and implemented in the ICU. The ICU beds were divded into an intervention arm (n = 10) and a control arm (n = 14). Passive RFID tags were issued to the doctors, nurses and support staff of the ICU. Long range RFID readers were positioned strategically. Sensors were placed beneath the hand sanitizers to record sanitizer usage. The system would alert the HCWs by flashing a light if an opportune moment for hand sanitization was detected. A significant increase in hand sanitizer use was noted in the intervention arm. Usage was highest during the early part of the workday and decreased as the day progressed. Hand wash events per person hour was highest among the ancilliary staff followed by the doctors and nurses. Real-time feedback has potential to increase hand hygiene compliance among HCWs. The system demonstrates the possibility of automating compliance monitoring in an ICU with an open layout.