SAFE PPE: User needs for an interactive PPE training tool
SureWash was established in response to global epidemics such as SARS and MERS. There are an estimated quarter of a million deaths worldwide per annum as a result of hospital acquired infections. Most noteworthy, the WHO and CDC believe that 50% of these deaths are as a result of poor hand hygiene technique/practices. Therefore, what may appear to be a relatively simple skill is alarmingly lacking in compliance.
The aim of SureWash is to help health professionals and workers to memorise the essential motions that are required for thorough handwashing. SureWash uses an interactive software system and augmented reality to offer training technology using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) hand hygiene protocol.
Staff competency and access to PPE training became critical early in the COVID-19 pandemic. This placed demands on infection prevention and control staff when already busy with COVID-19-related tasks. SureWash wanted to investigate the role of mindfulness and technology in PPE training. Mindfulness is a protective factor for effective and safe performance and can play an important role in infection prevention and control (IPC) training.
The RCSI Department of Microbiology based in Beaumont Hospital provided advice on existing PPE and hand hygiene training, hygiene performance shaping factors, and facilitated interviews, workshops, and participatory co-design sessions with healthcare professionals (N-174) across three clinical sites in Ireland to help inform emerging mobile learning app concept and requirements. This advice informed the company’s development of an interactive prototype PPE trainer/interactive kiosk that uses camera-based augmented reality and gamified learning to train and assess hand hygiene technique with resultant improvements in compliance.
“The RCSI team were excellent and helped us to focus on cutting edge approaches to healthcare education and infection control. Prof. Fidelma Fitzpatrick provided her world-class expertise in hospital acquired infections and antimicrobial resistance, and, in novel approaches to improve infection control practices.”
– Dr Gerard Lacey, Surewash CEO and CTO