Promoting Hand Hygiene in Long-Term Care to Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
Improving hand hygiene (HH) is one of the most effective solutions to reduce COVID‑19 from spreading in
long-term care (LTC) homes. Unfortunately, caregivers in LTC homes do not consistently practice HH before
and after resident interaction. Hygienic Echo Inc., a company led by Dr. Geoff Fernie, has developed a device,
called the Buddy Badge, which is a smart monitoring system that detects HH opportunities, generates HH
reminder signals when needed and enables monitoring individual and group HH performance. Testing of the
Buddy Badge in hospitals has shown it is effective and maintains significant increases in staff HH performance.
The aim with this proposal is to explore the use of the Buddy Badge System in LTC, where HH compliance is
very difficult to monitor. We aim to: 1) customize the system to include the different LTC staff roles; 2)
differentiate between different zones with infection precautions (i.e., resident rooms, communal bathrooms,
dirty utility rooms, etc.); 3) tailor HH prompts for staff to support HH compliance working in large,
shared-occupancy zones (i.e., dining rooms, rec rooms); and 4) explore the relationship between staff’s Buddy
Badge use and occurrence and/or spread of COVID‑19 in LTC.