How valid is data from hand hygiene compliance measurement by observation? 3 study insights

Research published in the American Journal of Infection Control studied the validity of hand hygiene compliance measurements by observation.

Researchers conducted a systematic review of 71 hospital-based intervention studies using direct observation to monitor hand hygiene compliance of healthcare workers, testing to see if the direct observation approach can result in information, selection and confounding bias.

Here are the key insights to know:

1. The researchers found selection bias was present in all the studies due to methodology such as only collecting data during the work week or during the day. Other studies focused only on single specialty settings.

2. Additional problems included inconsistency in terminology, descriptions of data collection and criteria.

3. "Published research of hand hygiene compliance measured by direct observation lacks validity. Hand hygiene should be measured using methods that produce a valid indication of performance and quality. Standardization of methodology would expedite comparison of hand hygiene compliance between clinical settings and organizations," the researchers concluded.

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