Mobile audit app for hand hygiene

A mobile audit app based on the World Health Organisation's 5 Moments of Hand Hygiene principles that was successfully trialled in two Sydney hospitals is now commercially available.

Developed by Kimberly-Clark Professional and Visibility Solutions, the iCombat healthcare associated infections (HAIs) app has been designed for iPads and is aimed at capturing data about hand hygiene compliance in real-time.

Officially launched at the Health Informatics Conference (HIC2012) in Sydney this week, the iCombat HAIs app is part of a whole module that encompasses hand hygiene audits, compliance, auditor management, real-time dashboards, report automation and an evidence-based approach to gauge the efficiency of running hand hygiene improvement campaigns.

Anesh Naidoo, category manager Asia Pacific for Kimberley-Clark Professional, which has sponsored the development of the system, said all public hospitals have been reporting hand hygiene compliance data for several years, mandated by Hand Hygiene Australia (HHA), but many were still using either paper-based forms or inefficient and time-consuming spreadsheets.

“The infection control manager is in charge of collating all of the data and they spend hours getting the data into a format to make decisions,” Mr Naidoo said. “In fact, it can be months between the collection of data and decision-making.

“We've designed this system to help infection control managers to collate the information from hand hygiene audits in real-time.”

Jon Elcombe, general manager of Visibility Solutions, which designed the app and the back-end enterprise information portal, said the partners were also working on developing a link directly to Hand Hygiene Australia. At present, audits can be downloaded and emailed to HHA.

“Each hospital is unique in itself so certain data relating to that hospital needs to come from the enterprise information portal to the app itself,” Mr Elcombe said. “There are some policies and procedures that are independent of a generic app and are specific to a hospital, so we've got communication between the enterprise information portal and the app to set up the audit, and then when you submit it to the back-end, it is then automatically collated for your hospital.

“As soon as somebody does the audit it comes through, the administrator will review it, approve it and it then goes into their dashboard for reporting.”

The development of the system has been timed for the release of national safety and quality health services standards by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare. Coming into effect on January 1 next year, the standards will apply to all Australian public hospitals and are an explicit statement of the level of care consumers should expect from health services.

In addition to the standard covering the prevention of HIAs, they will also cover medication safety, patient identification and procedure matching, preventing pressure sores and preventing falls.

“Guidelines have just been released on how to follow the standards and as part of that, audits will need to be done,” Mr Elcombe said. “This is where we are linking with the hand hygiene, the third standard, to bring out audit apps and to build a back-end information portal to Hand Hygiene Australia.”

Mr Naidoo said the partners hoped that apps would eventually be developed for all of the modules.

At the moment, the app is being used in the field in Australia and Canada and is currently being trialled in Hong Kong.

Mr Naidoo said all hospitals were welcome to inquire about tailoring the system to their needs.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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