Audits have been used to monitor compliance. Mobile devices such as iPads have been used for audit data capture – see for example HandyAudit. But this is a passive, survey-sampling approach.
Various specialized devices have been developed to actively monitor hand washing by all healthcare workers (HCW) at a given institution. For example, a healthcare workers badge can monitor the time that the worker spends in proximity to a sink – see for example AiRISTA or HandGiene.
Yesterday I discussed the potential value of Google Glass to a physician through the provision of information and diagnostic support. But, that same device could also monitor exactly when a physician washes his/her hands, for how long, and how well.
It could also take an active role when it detects an activity that should have been preceded by hand washing, but was not.
"You need to wash your hands Doctor!"
"That wasn't long enough Doctor... 10 seconds more please"