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Wearable monitoring system dramatically improves handwashing by healthcare workers
New data from Hill-Rom shows its hand-hygiene compliance system, which uses badge-based locating technology to provide automatic, continuous monitoring and recording of every time a staff member uses a hand-hygiene station, dramatically increases hand washing among hospital staff using the system.
Analysis of more than 20 million instances of hand washing shows institutions using Hill-Rom's Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution have achieved an average 226% improvement in compliance, with some institutions showing compliance by caregivers nearly tripled.
The company is discuwearab Control & Epidemiology (APIC) meeting in Nashville, Tenn., one of the largest conferences on infection control.
Healthcare-acquired infections are a serious threat. According to the World Health Organisation, approximately one in every 15 hospital patients has at least one HAI. In the US alone, the cost of HAIs is estimated at between $25 and $45 billion and each year 75,000 will die with an HAI.
Experts in nearly every major public health organisation agree that ineffective hand hygiene (hand washing or using disinfecting sprays, wipes or gels) is one of the most significant contributors to the problem, yet compliance rates among caregivers are difficult to track and are regularly found to be less than half of what is recommended. The most effective strategy to improve hand-hygiene compliance includes monitoring hand-hygiene behaviours and implementing performance-based interventions.
"It's all about forming a habit. Once caregivers get used to the system, they're eager and excited to see their results posted at the end of each week," says Dr. Javier Reyes Mar, head of epidemiologic surveillance at Medica Sur Hospital in Mexico City, Mexico, a site included in the analysis. "We showcase our highest individual compliance performer on a monthly basis.
"Our caregivers strive to continuously improve and do better. They're pleased with the ease of use of the system and it is encouraging to them that they are positively impacting the lives of the patients through this solution."
Alton Shader, senior vice president and president, North America, at Hill-Rom, says: "Hand washing is simple, but also simple to forget in a busy health care environment. This new data shows that our system is extremely effective at helping hospital teams move the needle on compliance - the first step toward decreasing hospital-acquired infections."
The real-time locating technology used for hand-hygiene monitoring can be used for other purposes as well, including staff locating, asset tracking, environmental monitoring, nurse call and smart bed connectivity.
2nd July 2015