Tips for selecting the right hand hygiene auditing solution

Here’s what we’ve learned helping 100s of customers find the right solution for their organization.

If you’re looking for a hand hygiene auditing solution, there’s a number of options out there. How do you find the right one for your organization?

Here’s some tips based on the discussions we’ve had with prospective customers to help them find the right solution for their particular situation.

Paper audit solutions

Paper auditing solutions are some of the most common for hand hygiene auditing programs. They offer the benefit of easy setup and familiarity among staff. 

Here are some situations where paper audit solutions shine:

  • Limited budget for solutions
  • Limited number of auditors
  • Limited data collection requirements
  • Limited reporting requirements
  • Highest priority is starting immediately

Things to keep in mind:

  • Labor costs for running a paper solution scale up quickly. Periodically evaluate if you’ve reached a point where automation could save you significant resources.
  • Volunteer auditors may view a paper solution as a signal of low prioritization. Auditing programs are only as good as the commitment of participating staff, so consider incorporating best practices like gathering leadership support to counter this.

Reported data is more impactful when it’s timely and paper programs can easily fall behind. Consider setting up protected time to ensure collected audits are analyzed and reported out quickly.

Software audit solutions

Software audit solutions are an increasingly popular option for hand hygiene programs. They offer the benefit of eliminating paper-based workflows, automation of data analysis, and some solutions even offer tools to help manage data collection at scale.

Here are some situations where software audit solutions shine:

  • Some budget to apply to purchasing a solution
  • Increasing the number of auditors and collected audits
  • Programs in need of support analyzing and reporting on compliance data
  • Programs facing sustainability issues

Things to keep in mind:

  • Remember to keep future program needs in mind when evaluating solutions. Auditing and reporting requirements regularly change over time. Is a software solution able to adapt/adjust? Are there important integrations (e.g. single sign on, business intelligence systems) you’ll need to accommodate?
  • Software systems still need effective program management and staff engagement. Solutions don’t work if you just throw them over the wall to staff. How will staff be trained? How will the software be administered?
  • Will you need support to successfully implement the software? Implementing software across a large organization can be a complex endeavor. What vendor will help you effectively operationalize your program? 

Purpose-built HH auditing software versus general purpose auditing software. Purpose-built HH auditing software can offer a more focused solution and that may lower costs and simplify implementation, but it can come at the cost of contributing to “solution overload” if many data collection and reporting products are implemented side-by-side. General purpose auditing software can ideally address multiple auditing needs beyond HH and possibly across multiple departments, but it may come with more complexity to administer and configure.

Automated sensor systems

Continuous hand hygiene compliance monitoring without added staff burden is a vision that appeals to every infection preventionist, and automated sensor systems aim to make that vision a reality. They offer the benefit of the most automation.

Here are some situations where software audit solutions shine:

  • Significant budget to invest in a hand hygiene solution
  • Higher risk/acuity settings
  • Strong leadership support for hand hygiene improvement

Things to keep in mind:

  • Automated sensing still needs good project management and effective staff engagement. Sensor systems offer a powerful tool for streamlining data collection, but improvement still relies on effective education and use of data. Ensuring you have strong processes for engaging staff in using data for improvement will help you translate the large volumes of data into improvements.
  • Automated sensing systems introduce hardware you’ll need to manage. Sensor systems can generate much more data without the need for auditing, but every component of the system from badges to dispenser sensors and more all require some level of maintenance. Make sure you dig into these details with vendors to avoid underestimating the ongoing overhead required.
  • No system is perfect, but you can understand and plan around limitations. It’s unlikely you’ll find a sensor system without some limitations alongside all of the strengths. Badges must be charged to be detected. Proximity to a dispenser that was pushed doesn’t guarantee sanitizer was actually used for hand hygiene. Make sure you understand what works well and where weak points are in any system, and make sure you validate the performance for yourself.

With some planning and research, you'll find the right solution.

Feel free to check out Qualaris’ Hand Hygiene solution if you’d like to learn more about how our software has helped +100 hospitals save time, improve compliance, and master requirements for Leapfrog and more.

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