BACKGROUND: The expanding number of mobile health applications (apps) holds potential to reduce and eliminate health care-associated infections (HAIs) in clinical practice.
The purpose of this review was to identify and provide an overview of the apps available to support prevention of HAIs and to assess their functionality and potential uses in clinical care.
METHODS: We searched 3 online mobile app stores using the following terms: infection prevention, prevention, hand hygiene, hand washing, and specific HAI terms (catheter-associated urinary tract infection [CAUTI], central line-associated bloodstream infections, surgical site infection, and ventilator associated pneumonia [VAP]).
RESULTS: Search queries yielded a total of 2,646 potentially relevant apps, of which 17 met our final inclusion criteria. The areas of focus were CAUTI (n = 1, 5.9%), VAP (n = 1, 5.9%), environmental monitoring (n = 2, 11.8%), and hand hygiene (n = 2, 11.8%); the remainder (n = 11, 64.7%) were focused on >1 area (eg, multiple infection prevention bundles, infection prevention guidelines). Almost all of the apps (70.6%) had a maximum of two functions.
CONCLUSION: Mobile apps may help reduce HAI by providing easy access to guidelines, hand hygiene monitoring support, or step-by-step procedures aimed at reducing infections at the point of clinical care. Given the dearth of available apps and the lack of functionality with those that are available, there is a need for further development of mobile apps for HAI prevention at the point of care.
Schnall R, Iribarren SJ. Are you the author?
Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, NY.
Reference: Am J Infect Control. 2015 Mar 4. pii: S0196-6553(15)00039-5.