A Systematic Review of Electronic Monitoring Systems for Hand Hygiene (Preprint)

Background: Hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways of preventing health care–associated infections and reducing their transmission. Owing to recent advances in sensing technologies, electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems have been integrated into the daily routines of health care workers to measure their hand hygiene compliance and quality. Objective: This review aims to summarize the latest technologies adopted in electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems and discuss the capabilities and limitations of these systems. Methods: A systematic search of PubMed, ACM Digital Library, and IEEE Xplore Digital Library was performed following the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Studies were initially screened and assessed independently by the 2 authors, and disagreements between them were further summarized and resolved by discussion with the senior author. Results: In total, 1035 publications were retrieved by the search queries; of the 1035 papers, 89 (8.60%) fulfilled the eligibility criteria and were retained for review. In summary, 73 studies used electronic monitoring systems to monitor hand hygiene compliance, including application-assisted direct observation (5/73, 7%), camera-assisted observation (10/73, 14%), sensor-assisted observation (29/73, 40%), and real-time locating system (32/73, 44%). A total of 21 studies evaluated hand hygiene quality, consisting of compliance with the World Health Organization 6-step hand hygiene techniques (14/21, 67%) and surface coverage or illumination reduction of fluorescent substances (7/21, 33%). Conclusions: Electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems face issues of accuracy, data integration, privacy and confidentiality, usability, associated costs, and infrastructure improvements. Moreover, this review found that standardized measurement tools to evaluate system performance are lacking; thus, future research is needed to establish standardized metrics to measure system performance differences among electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems. Furthermore, with sensing technologies and algorithms continually advancing, more research is needed on their implementation to improve system performance and address other hand hygiene–related issues.
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