HandyAudit™ to Measure and Improve Hand Hygiene Compliance

In 2008, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) introduced mandatory reporting of hand hygiene compliance as a patient safety indicator. The standard practice for mandatory reporting of hand hygiene compliance rates in Ontario is direct observation using a paper reporting form. Early experience with collecting and reporting compliance data using the Ministry’s paper-based form is proving to be cumbersome and costly.

The HandyAudit™, developed by researchers at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, is an innovative PDA device that records the real time of relevant caregiver actions and produces data that can be analyzed at any time using any rule set (e.g. guidelines used by the World Health Organization and Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care).

The HandyAudit™ eliminates the need for auditors to assess whether hand hygiene compliance has occurred, removes the need for manual transcription of compliance results, and simplifies report generation and other data management operations. This project is expected to facilitate a reduction in cost and an increase in the reliability of mandatory hand hygiene auditing.

The following hospitals participated in the CAHO HandyAudit™ ARTIC Project: Bruyère Continuing Care, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Hamilton Health Sciences, Kingston General Hospital, Hôpital Montfort, Hotel Dieu Hospital Kingston, Providence Care, Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, The Hospital for Sick Children, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, St. Michael’s Hospital, Sudbury Regional Hospital, Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and Women’s College Hospital.

As of December 2011, the CAHO HandyAudit ARTIC Project is complete, and 15 of the 16 participating hospitals have renewed their contracts with HandyMetrics, a newly incorporated Ontario based company who holds the licence to market and distribute HandyAudit. Communities of practice comprising of CAHO members were created through the project. Discussions with members, along with support from the HandyAudit team, allow for the sharing of challenges and successes in developing standardized practices.

The CAHO HandyAudit ARTIC Project has provided a great opportunity on how to speed the translation of research evidence into practice. Over time, the lessons learned from this initial project will benefit future ARTIC Projects and, more importantly, create the foundation for a provincial platform to accelerate the adoption of research evidence into practice to drive quality improvement in the health care system.