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DebMed Blog: Healthcare Hygiene Matters

Hi-Tech Hand Wash: Electronic Hand Hygiene Systems Bring the Newest Technology to an Age-Old Problem

Posted by Allison Pearsall on Jan 4, 2018 10:02:00 AM

As advancing technology continues its inexorable expansion into virtually every area of healthcare with promise of improved efficiency and outcomes, today’s electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems are equipping hospital managers with critical data that is helping them drive significantly improved hand hygiene compliance and significant decreases in health care-associated infections.  A recent article published in Health Facilities Management described the marked shift taking place toward electronic monitoring systems  because of their ability to capture up to 100 percent of hand hygiene events and deliver the valid, reliable data needed for lasting staff performance improvement.

Indeed, the number of electronic hand hygiene monitoring implementations continues to grow as success stories for hospitals in the U.S. and Canada have become better known and understood.  Many of the hospitals who have achieved sustained improvement in hand hygiene compliance using electronic monitoring had been previously stymied in their effort to drive sustained improvement using conventional, anecdotal observation methods.

Another reason healthcare institutions are turning now more than ever to electronic hand hygiene systems is the addition of Clostridium difficile and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services list of reportable conditions under the Healthcare-Acquired Conditions program (HAC). Both types of infections can be related to contact transfer via the hands, which is prompting renewed interest in compliance methodologies proven to help reduce these infections and avoid HAC penalties.

What electronic systems can provide is accurate and reliable data based on the WHO 5 Moments or CDC hand hygiene guidelines, which is key to accurately measure and improve hand-hygiene performance and help create a culture of patient safety.

According to Health Facilities Management, when choosing an electronic hand hygiene monitoring system,  healthcare institutions should consider the ease of integration into existing hand sanitizer and soap dispensers and whether the system requires connectivity through hospital IT networks. In addition, hospitals should evaluate the system’s ability to capture all WHO 5 Moments for hand hygiene and should request the available peer-reviewed clinical outcomes data.

The DebMed Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring System does not require integration with a hospital’s IT infrastructure. All data is transmitted wirelessly, without using a hospital’s Wi-Fi, to an off-site server. Users simply log onto a secure website to view actionable and reliable hand hygiene compliance reports or have the reports emailed to them directly.

The DebMed System is capable of capturing all hand hygiene events based on WHO-5 Moment and CDC guidance. Use of the system has been shown in a peer-reviewed study to reduce healthcare acquired MRSA infections by 42%, increase hand-hygiene compliance by 25.5%, and deliver a cost avoidance of $434,000.1

To learn more about this latest technology for performance improvement, request more information or a demo here

1 Kelly J, Blackhurst D, McAtee W, Steed C. Electronic hand hygiene monitoring as a tool for reducing healthcare-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection. Am J Infect Control 2016;44:956-7.


Topics: hand hygiene compliance monitoring, hand hygiene compliance

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The DebMed blog is the go-to source for hand hygiene and infection prevention related discussions occurring in the healthcare industry. Join the conversation! All readers are invited to comment, share stories and information, and post articles of interest.

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