DebMed Hand Sanitizer Giveaway Supports 'Lead the Change' Campaign Against HAIs

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DebMed, creator of the world's first electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system based on the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Five Moments for Hand Hygiene, announces its partnership with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) in support of International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), Oct. 14-20, 2012.

Proper hand hygiene is proven to be vital to infection prevention, so DebMed has donated 250 hand sanitizers to the Greater New York APIC Chapter to be distributed to local shelters and group homes in New York City as part of a community outreach project to educate about and promote awareness of infection prevention. Additionally, DebMed donated 250 hand sanitizers to the Corpus Christi, Texas APIC chapter, which will be distributed at their "Day at the Beach" educational event at Texas A&M University.

"The majority of individuals do not realize the significant role that they themselves can help play in reducing infections, so our goal is to use the generous donation from DebMed to effectively promote patient safety and hand hygiene best practices during International Infection Prevention Week," says Marianne Pavia, director of infection control, employee health and laboratory services at St. Mary's Hospital for Children in Bayside, N.Y., and president of the Greater New York APIC Chapter. "DebMed's contribution and partnership with APIC is a testament to their commitment to infection prevention and improving patient safety."

DebMed is also giving away 5,000 personal-size hand sanitizers to healthcare organizations throughout the U.S. and awarding daily prizes from the official DebMed Facebook page as part of the company's "Lead the Change" campaign to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).  A series of webinars around the latest technology and methods to reduce infections, titled "Lead the Change to Improved Patient Safety and Quality" will take place during IIPW, encouraging hospital quality leaders to adopt best practices by moving to electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring from  the current widely used yet proven unreliable method of manual observation. 

"Hand hygiene is a critical component of improving patient safety and quality," says Heather McLarney, vice president of marketing for DebMed.  "We are proud to partner with APIC to promote International Infection Prevention Week and to increase education to both hospitals and consumers about the role each can play in further reducing healthcare-associated infections."

Hand Hygiene Quick Facts:

• One in 20 hospitalized patients will get a healthcare-associated infection as a result of the care they receive in the hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

• Healthcare-associated infections cost U.S. hospitals an estimated $28.4 to $45 billion each year.

• Thirty-five percent of healthcare facilities across the globe do not adequately promote hand hygiene practices, according to the World Health Organization.

• Electronic monitoring of hand hygiene in healthcare organizations is an efficient, cost effective and accurate method to improve hand hygiene and protect patients

IIPW raises awareness of the role infection prevention plays to improve patient safety and promotes the belief that infection prevention is everyone's business. Established in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, APIC has spearheaded the annual effort to highlight the importance of infection prevention among healthcare professionals, administrators, legislators, and consumers. It is now formally recognized in many areas around the world including the U.S., Australia, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. As IIPW expands, more patients benefit from safer healthcare practices and reduced threat of HAIs.

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