For clinicians, nurses, infection preventionists and environmental services staff to be successful, they need data. Whether it is statistics on surgical techniques, records on patient vitals, analytics on current infection outbreaks or how much cleaning chemicals to use on a particular surface, more data equals more insight. In the healthcare industry, these insights can often literally mean life or death.
Perhaps one of the first people in our field to recognize the power of data was Florence Nightingale, a statistician widely known as the founder of modern nursing. With this knowledge, Nightingale helped provide insight into the relationship between unsanitary conditions in healthcare and death resulting from infection. From her “crusade” on improved patient care and infection prevention, to the current technological advancements in the healthcare industry, one thing hasn’t changed: the vital role data plays in our ability to recognize important health trends as well as improve patient care.
Among some of the newer technologies aiding the healthcare industry with data and insights are those related to one of the most serious, yet preventable threats to patient safety today – infection prevention and control through improved hand hygiene practices.
Germs and pathogens run rampant in healthcare facilities, leading to an estimated 721,800 healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) per year across the U.S.A. With roughly one in 25 U.S. hospital patients contracting an HAI every day, proper hand hygiene is a critical issue for healthcare institutions nationwide.
Studies show that when healthcare workers actively participate in infection prevention measures, rates of some targeted HAIs can decrease by more than 70 percent. The key is getting healthcare workers involved in direct patient care to comply – and that’s where data comes into play.
New technologies that share such data (i.e. electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems) can provide objective insight that can encourage real dialogue and problem-solving when shared with healthcare staff, leading to improved and sustained performance over time.
For example, Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina demonstrated, in a peer-reviewed published study, that the use of DebMed’s Electronic Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring System enabled the facility to increase compliance over 25 percent, reduce MRSA infections 42 percent and generate cost savings of $434,000 over a period of 33 months. By using the data from the DebMed System, Greenville was able to get a true, accurate reading on what their 5-moment compliance really was and track their improvement on an on-going basis.
The DebMed system has proven itself to be an effective, reliable tool because it provides facilities with the data they need to be able to measure their 5-moment hand hygiene compliance accurately, and comply with WHO and CDC guidelines.
This type of real-time data enables staff and organizations to work more efficiently and productively and, in turn, results in improved care for patients.
For more information on the DebMed Electronic Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring System, visit: https://www.debmed.com/electronic-monitoring-system/#