iScrub application monitors hand hygiene compliance

By: April 25th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Step aside, Angry Birds (a popular game for those of you not of the app universe), there’s a new smart phone application in town that’s vying for the attention of healthcare workers. Enter iScrub, which aims to increase hand hygiene compliance.

Findings presented at the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting showed real-time compliance feedback and features that allow it to be customized for each facility, according to an article on

Nurse managers at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City, were given two iPod Touches® for the 47-week pilot program. They made approximately 10,000 observations. The overall compliance significantly increased, the researchers found. The application is simple to use and can be synced with the hospital’s computer system. It allows users to observe hand hygiene compliance in:

  • surgical intensive care units,
  • medical intensive care units,
  • hematology/oncology pediatrics.

After selecting which area to observe, users can then choose who to observe:

  • Physician
  • Nurse
  • Consultant
  • X-ray technician
  • Physical therapist
  • Any other not listed

When both the area and person are chosen to observe, the user can choose whether the person performed hand hygiene practices when he or she entered the room and when he or she left the room by choosing no, wash, or rub. The user then confirms the observation, which then feeds the information back to the hospital computer system, according to the article on

Jason Fries, a graduate student in the department of computer science at the University of Iowa, says one of the advantages of this applications is that it automatically generates data and keeps everything in the same format for each observation, rather than using a pen and paper to track the data, according to the article.


By Helen Lazeratoin on April 26th, 2011 at 11:59 am

I have some serious reservation about the integrity of the IPOD folks with the announcement that came out in the news this past week about the GPS trackers in the IPOD’s sending data back to the company on your every move. I wonder where the Hand Hygiene data will eventually end up?

By Lynette Miller RN on April 27th, 2011 at 10:36 am

How would this app. be useful to hospitals without computer systems?

By Stephanie Lambert on April 27th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I will be very happy if this application becomes available for the android platform.

By Debbie Clark RRT/MPH on May 23rd, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I agree with Stephanie. I contacted Jason Fries and he said he is working with a limited staff and resources and does not envision evolving into the droid system anytime soon or at all. HELP. Someone out there please develop an app for us droid users!!


Leave a Comment


« | Home | »

Subscribe - Get blog updates via e-mail

  • test
  • HCPro Broadcast Events Calendar