Simulated hospital ward supports hand hygiene research

The Monash Design Health Collab Hand Hygiene project with Australian tapware and water systems company Enware, will now benefit from a new Melbourne-based research space that simulates a hospital ward environment.

The “mock-ward” as it’s called by the team at Design Health Collab will provide researchers with the space to test and develop their ideas without the constraints and costs of using an actual hospital ward space. The mock-ward replicates a four-bed hospital ward where clinical scenarios can be accurately simulated and tested.

Many of the elements and surfaces were faithfully copied and printed to create a level of reality. The printed bed details and power switches were copied directly from typical hospital ward environments.

“The mock-ward provides a space to test and validate hand hygiene systems and solutions in a controlled clinical environment,” says Practice Professor Daphne Flynn, co-director of Monash Design Health Collab.

Oracle and Northumbria University in the UK have joined the Hand Hygiene research, contributing expertise in large scale data analytics and clinical simulations, to strengthen the capabilities of tracking systems and health outcomes for a new wash station, through bacterial tracking and efficacy testing. They welcome the opportunity to test exciting and innovative research in a purpose-built space.

The mock-ward will support our efforts to redesign the approach to hand hygiene in hospitals in order to increase patient safety. Poor hand hygiene is a known link to hospital acquired infections and with the growing threat of antimicrobial resistant bacteria, it’s critical that we have good control and awareness of the effects of poor hand hygiene compliance.

Practice Professor Daphne Flynn

Monash Design Health Collab’s combined academic, clinical and industry approach to improving hand hygiene is looking to create a holistic system of physical and digital elements, designed to promote long lasting behaviour change and healthy habit formation in healthcare workers.

The physical and digital elements, essential for a successful hand hygiene system and program can now be accurately tested with clinicians, staff, patients and others in a purpose-built test space.