University of Iowa develops "app" for hand hygiene compliance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

University of Iowa develops "app" for hand hygiene compliance

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Smart phones these days have thousands of downloadable applications to make life easier. A team at the University of Iowa decided to create an "app" for hospitals and clinics, which will help them keep track of how often healthcare workers wash their hands.

The current method for keeping track of how often nurses and doctors sanitize their hands can be time-consuming.

"What happens right now, is someone picks up a clipboard and will go into a unit, they'll sit down, and watch health care workers in and out of rooms for maybe half an hour, an hour, and then they'll hand off the clipboard to someone else who will type it into Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel," said Chris Hlady, a member of the team that developed the "iSCRUB" application. He says it can take months to create a final report with that information, which is then used to measure staff compliance with hygiene standards.

He says iSCRUB aims to speed up and streamline the process.

"Part of the goal of iSCRUB, is to make the feedback near real-time," he explained.

That's an exciting notion for those working to prevent the spread of infections.

"It'll absolutely change how we do things," said Lisa Caffery, infection prevention manager for Genesis Health Systems in Davenport.

"This application will make it much easier for us to get the information back to our nursing staff, our physicians, and the other staff in the hospital, so that they can focus on problem areas and address them."

There are two versions of iSCRUB; the "lite" version is free, and sends out an email to a department head, whenever a staff member records that he or she washed up.

"You can just go to iTunes and search for iSCRUB, and you'll find it and can download it," said Hlady.

iSCRUB Pro has a companion website, where entries are tracked. For now it's only compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch, but Hlady is looking into making the app compatible with other smartphones like Droids and Blackberries.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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