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Handwash Monitoring: From Observation to Sophistication

Match your situation with the best technology option

What gets rewarded gets done. This adage encapsulates and exposes a major shortcoming in most Patient/Resident HAI prevention programs. There is no measurement relevent to handwashing and thus no basis to reward good behavior or discipline noncompliance. Data can drive a culture of caring and motivate mission-critical handwashing behaviors.

Numbers help establish and sustain process control and provide a framework for measuing handwashing compliance. Regular feedback motivates both staff and management. Success is celebrated and maintained. Variations from the norm are swiftly corrected and the risk of an outbreak drops. The business and its jobs are secure. The public's perception of quality in both the place and the people are key in keeping occupancy at profitable levels. These are the primary outcomes of the HandsOn System.

The above pair of matricies is intended as a Monitoring Mall for standalone systems to start your search and learn about features and benefits of different technologies. Our focus has identified many options in this dynamic market where the need is high but experience is low. We have selected four routes, four companies, to help shoppers get started and better understand the niches for both hospitals and nursing homes.

Stepping down the risk by stepping up monitoring technologies

Culture change is the only way we have found to convert time-hardened handwashing behaviors. Years of accepting low compliance now defines today's reality. Whatcha got is … who you are!

Years of training have produced waves of temporary peaks in performance. Training without standards has proven to be both frustrating and costly as gains slip back to the undeclared norm.

Do you really want to change? From where you are on the organization chart, can you build a leadership team to get it done? The HandsOn™ System is designed to help chart this strategic move for the leaders who respond affirmatively.

Some multi-site facilities have managed this culture change at a single site and converted from one of efficiency-first to Patient/Resident safety first at a unit level, usually capitalizing on the very special leadership characteristics of an individual infection preventionist or nurse administrator. Handwashing For Life recommends each facility search out such a unit and develop a repeatable process model around it.

This prototype unit can provide data to better value the risk of current corporate hand hygiene behaviors and determine the risk-based costs for a sustainable solution. Can it be done without raising fees or lowering care? Continued nurturing can hothouse the initiative for months or years while resources are defined, acquired and aligned for rollout. Can cleanliness be a differentiator and business builder?

Monitoring, step five of the HandsOn System, is first and foremost about staff motivation. It is already a part of every caregiving operation. Observation via a variety of "secret shopper" models is the standard and in general has proven to be inadequate.

Handwashing's Commit & Comply: A Guide to Monitoring Options

Poor hand hygiene remains the number one contributing factor identified in HAI investigations. New monitoring technologies warrant a reassessment of handwashing and process control options. Accurate data is now available for those that believe better handwashing can significantly lower their risk of an outbreak.

Note there are four segments in the above matricies, each representing a choice in effectiveness and/or in efficiency.

The first decision is the choice of staff identification methods, defined around reports based on team or individual compliance. Wearing identification badges provides information down to the individual level but badge management has its drawbacks, particularly in high staff turnover environments. There are also privacy of information considerations. Team monitoring simplifies the implementation and generally lowers the cost. Both methods are effective. Our experience suggests this selection is highly aligned with differences in corporate cultures.

The CareReady® Hands Priority - Measured, Motivated & Managed

Changing hand hygiene behaviors is a reset of priorities where resident/patient safety rises to the top of the list of services. Safety sets the intuitive compass for action and becomes the default as each employee is reprogrammed for the day’s priorities. Reaching and sustaining handwashing frequency and quality standards trumps the traditionally measured efficiency factors.

The HandsOn System provides the structure to leverage these new technologies to change behaviors from nurse administrators to all levels of caregivers. It can help get started by setting up a collaborative assessment of current policies and practices to be sure all potential hurdles are addressed. This graphic can help initiate frank assessment, The 5 Handwashing Hurdles.

New monitoring technologies add process sustainability.

RTLS Matricies

Under development.


Leadership Companies

CareReady® Hands



For over 20 years the Brevis Corporation has been helping improve infection control and hand hygiene with continued research and new product development. Brevis was created by J.

TouchReady® Surfaces