Machine learning can improve hand hygiene performance in the outpatient setting, save costs: 4 insights

Machine learning technology with real-time hand hygiene notification could be a cost-effective way to improve hand hygiene in outpatient settings, according to a study in the Journal of Hospital Infection.

Here are four things to know.

1. The researchers created an infrared guided sensor system to automatically notify clinicians to perform hand hygiene immediately before first patient contact.

2. The study authors compared hand hygiene compliance at baseline (without notifications), compliance with real-time auditory notifications that continued until hand hygiene was performed, or notifications that lasted 15 seconds.

3. Average baseline hand hygiene performance before first patient contact was 53.8 percent. Overall hand hygiene performance increased to 100 percent with real-time auditory notifications that continued until hand hygiene was performed. Hand hygiene performance was performed 80.4 percent of the time with 15 second auditory notifications.

4. The researchers estimated that the annual running costs of the machine learning system were 46 percent lower than the observational auditing program currently in place.

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