Dr. Bruce Farber of North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., and colleagues evaluated healthcare worker hand hygiene with the use of remote video auditing in an 17-bed intensive care unit from June 2008 through June 2010.
"We placed cameras with views of every sink and hand sanitizer dispenser to record hand hygiene of healthcare workers. Sensors in doorways identified when an individual(s) entered/exited," the researchers said in a statement.
"When video auditors observed a healthcare worker performing hand hygiene upon entering/exiting, they assigned a pass; if not, a fail was assigned. Hand hygiene was measured during a 16-week period of remote video auditing without feedback and a 91-week period with feedback of data."
During the first 16-week period, hand hygiene rates were less than 10 percent.
During the next 16 weeks, performance feedback -- light-emitting diode boards in the hallway announced compliance rates and when compliance was good, it said, "Great Shift!!" and when there could be some improvement it said "Keep It Up." In addition, summary reports were delivered to supervisors by e-mail.
After the feedback period, hand hygiene jumped to 82 percent and after 75 weeks, handwashing compliance held at 88 percent.
The findings were published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.