For effective prevention of nosocomial transmissions continuous training and motivation of health care workers (HCW) are essential to maintain and increase compliance with high rates of hand disinfection. The use of Virtual Reality (VR) seems to be a contemporary and interesting approach for hand hygiene training in HCW. Nevertheless, HCW should be asked for their preferences and training success should be evaluated.
A prospective, cross-controlled trial was conducted in a tertiary care hospital comparing a conventional lecture for hand hygiene to the use of VR. Primary outcome was HCW satisfaction, secondary outcomes were hand rub consumption and compliance to indications for hand disinfection as proposed by WHO.
In summary, 81 trainings were conducted, 48 VR trainings and 33 trainings by lecture. While most HCW (69%) would prefer VR teaching rather than a lecture for hand hygiene education, only 4% preferred the traditional lecture. 400 observations of hand disinfection indications were made, 50 before intervention and 50 after each intervention at the three wards. Mean proportion of correct and indication-appropriate performances was 81% before intervention, 87% after VR training (p = 0,12), and 95% after lecture (p = 0,04). Hand rub consumption did not change significantly in any group.
Due to the high acceptance of VR technology among healthcare workers, it can be considered an interesting addition to conventional lectures for teaching hand hygiene. However, the hypothesis that VR teaching has a higher impact on disinfectant use and hand hygiene compliance than a conventional lecture cannot be confirmed.