GE Healthcare and HCA Collaborate to Tackle Hand Hygiene

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GE Healthcare and HCA’s Summerville Medical Center have collaborated to develop and deploy a data-driven technology solution that tracks hand washing data as it relates to patient care through the use of small sensor tags. The new GE Healthcare AgileTrac RTLS (Real-Time Location System) solution provides a more complete picture of clinicians’ handwashing behaviors than traditional manual programs, which by nature aren’t able to capture as many data points on a daily basis. The automated system collects up to 5,000 data points a day versus 700 per year with manual observation.

“The ultimate goal of any hospital is to provide the best level of care to patients,” says Louis Caputo, CEO of Summerville Medical Center. “Our innovative culture prompted us to expand our current relationship with GE and tackle hospital-acquired infections through the tracking of hand hygiene compliance. The greatest value of this technology has proven to be the data – the fact you can look at individual workflows and departments and make changes accordingly. It’s a constant reminder to put the patient first.”

By expanding GE Healthcare’s AgileTrac RTLS reach with sensor tags, Summerville Medical Center was able to create a detailed record of each patient’s experience by accurately recording, measuring and reporting hand washing—all without affecting the existing workflow. Each caregiver wears a badge that counts room entries and exits as well as the use of soap or sanitizer dispensers. The data collected from the system is used to model and characterize clinician-patient interactions, providing detailed data to help monitor and modify behavior.

The technology was first rolled out in the Summerville Medical Center ICU in the spring of 2012 and then expanded to its medical surgery units and the ER.

“There is no better way for GE to meet its customers’ demands for efficiency and productivity than to provide technology and solutions that can help predict and prevent problems and get the right information to the right people at the right time,” says Fran Dirksmeier, general manager of global asset management for GE Healthcare. “Our collaboration with Summerville has been invaluable as we look to tackle one of healthcare’s toughest challenges in a data driven way.”

HCA has been a leader in a number of major patient safety and quality improvement initiatives, including in the area of infection prevention. As the first hospital to have this GE technology, Summerville Medical Center’s roll-out of the hand hygiene compliance solution is yet another example of that.

Source: GE Healthcare

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