Hand washing monitoring systems can be used to generate reports, which can then be emailed to the staff.

“The real key is getting staff engaged and doing something with the data,” says McLarney. “They can pull reports as frequently as they want, be it weekly or even every day.”

Appointing a “hand champion” to discuss and explain the data can help drive results.

“It only takes 90 seconds on a shift to say, ‘This was our compliance yesterday or last week compared to our compliance a month ago,’ ” McLarney says. “Have we improved? If not, why haven’t we? What can we do to change that and improve our compliance?”

Studies have shown its best to address this issue in a group initiative, says Huffman, who notes this approach appears to provide better and longer-term improvement.

“Sometimes when you’re pointing out individuals, employees may see that as an invasion of privacy and almost punitive,” she explains. “A group result helps them work as a team and come up with ways to improve. This definitely seems to be a less controversial way to handle it.”

When implementing individualized technology — such as tracking bracelets or badges — Huffman reminds firms to be sensitive to employees’ privacy. The data collected from these devices should be kept private in a database and handled delicately in one-on-one conversations with staff, she says.

“When this technology is used, employees need to be told that the lives of people need to come first,” says Huffman. “You really need to ask yourself how far you’re willing to go to ensure the health and wellbeing of your patients, patrons or customers.”

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