Hand Hygiene Research
CDC conducts hand hygiene and other innovative infection control and prevention research through the Prevention Epicenters Program, which is a unique collaboration of leaders in healthcare epidemiology at academic medical institutions that work together and with CDC to conduct research designed to fill gaps in public health knowledge.
In October 2015, CDC awarded funding to six Prevention Epicenter academic medical institutions to find innovative strategies to protect patients by stopping the spread of germs in healthcare facilities, including Ebola virus and other important infectious disease threats. Four of these new projects have hand hygiene research priorities.
The four Prevention Epicenter projects that include hand hygiene research areas are:
This Epicenter will perform a randomized trial to determine if washing gloved hands with alcohol-based hand rub is as effective as changing gloves for healthcare workers caring for patients who are infected or colonized with certain infectious agents. The goal is to assess whether compliance with glove use and hand hygiene during patient care can be improved with this alternate approach.
This Epicenter will determine if Ebola preparedness efforts had beneficial effects on healthcare worker adherence to hand hygiene and other infection prevention recommendations. This Epicenter will also assess whether applying Provodine to hands protects healthcare workers against self-contamination during the personal protective equipment (PPE) removal process.
This Epicenter will use infection transmission models to estimate the probability of transmission based on healthcare worker adherence to hand hygiene and other infection control recommendations. This Epicenter will also identify risk factors for healthcare worker self-contamination while removing PPE by conducting use observations, semi-structured interviews, task analysis, and simulations using visible markers in a newly built, state-of-art biocontainment unit.
This Epicenter will investigate how an automated hand hygiene system can best monitor and improve hand hygiene compliance. This system includes unique badge reels worn by healthcare workers that emit a Bluetooth beacon that is received by networked sensors attached to hand hygiene product dispensers. These sensors can also measure product use, detect movement towards a patient’s bed and provide voice reminders. Multiple hand hygiene feedback strategies including real-time voice reminders and providing individual hand hygiene compliance feedback will be compared to identify effective ways to improve hand hygiene compliance. This Epicenter will also analyze the PPE removal process in healthcare workers trained in high-level isolation using human factors methods to determine how deviations from correct protocol occur.