Healthcare personnel perceptions of hand hygiene monitoring technology

Katherine Ellingson, Philip M. Polgreen, Amy Schneider, Laura Shinkunas, Lauris C. Kaldjian, Donald Wright, Geb W. Thomas, Alberto M. Segre, Ted Herman, L. Clifford McDonald, Ronda Sinkowitz-Cochran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


objective. To assess healthcare personnel (HCP) perceptions regarding implementation of sensor-based electronic systems for automated hand hygiene adherence monitoring. design. Using a mixed-methods approach, structured focus groups were designed to elicit quantitative and qualitative responses on familiarity, comfort level, and perceived impact of sensor-based hand hygiene adherence monitoring setting. A university hospital, a Veterans Affairs hospital, and a community hospital in the Midwest. participants. Focus groups were homogenous by HCP type, with separate groups held for leadership, midlevel management, and frontline personnel at each hospital. results. Overall, 89 HCP participated in 10 focus groups. Levels of familiarity and comfort with electronic oversight technology varied by HCP type; when compared with frontline HCP, those in leadership positions were significantly more familiar with (P<.01) and more comfortable with (P<.01) the technology. The most common concerns cited by participants across groups included lack of accuracy in the data produced, such as the inability of the technology to assess the situational context of hand hygiene opportunities, and the potential punitive use of data produced. Across groups, HCP had decreased tolerance for electronic collection of spatial-temporal data, describing such oversight as Big Brother. conclusions. While substantial concerns were expressed by all types of HCP, participants' recommendations for effective implementation of electronic oversight technologies for hand hygiene monitoring included addressing accuracy issues before implementation and transparent communication with frontline HCP about the intended use of the data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1091-1096
Number of pages6
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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