DebMed, creator of an electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system based on the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Five Moments for Hand Hygiene, and STERIS Corporation, a global leader in infection prevention, announce an agreement whereby STERIS will sell the DebMed GMS™ to healthcare organizations. This partnership will result in healthcare organizations having greater access to electronic monitoring of hand hygiene, a reliable method for increasing hand hygiene compliance and preventing the spread of infections.
“DebMed and STERIS are joining forces to provide a hand hygiene compliance solution for healthcare facilities to help them best combat the spread of healthcare-associated infections,” says Didier Bouton, president of DebMed. “DebMed’s ability to deliver the most accurate data around healthcare worker hand hygiene activity, including at the critical patient point-of-care, is a huge advancement for hospitals over the traditional method of manual observation. By leveraging STERIS’ leadership in infection prevention and their reach to the healthcare sector, healthcare facilities across the U.S. can benefit from best practices in hand hygiene that are cost effective and can help save lives.”
The DebMed GMS electronically tracks if healthcare workers are cleaning their hands as frequently as they should and provides feedback to staff to help improve hand hygiene compliance. The DebMed GMS utilizes state-of-the art electronics that capture hand cleaning activity from soap and hand sanitizer dispensers, and can now be deployed with either DebMed dispensers or a hospital’s existing dispensers, including those supplied by STERIS. It draws on an evidence-based, statistically valid algorithm which determines how many times healthcare workers should have cleaned theirhands, based on patient census and degree of patient care, to derive a compliance rate.
The system monitors staff compliance at the group level rather than requiring staff to wear badges that track their individual compliance. Because it encourages team collaboration, group monitoring is recognized by many infection preventionists and industry thought leaders as being more effective in changing behavior than tracking individuals’ actions, which can be seen by staff as punitive or an invasion of privacy. The system also includes an online toolkit of educational materials on proper hand hygiene protocols and customizable reminder tools to help drive and reinforce behavior change.
“STERIS has a long history of leadership in hand hygiene in the U.S. healthcare market. The DebMed GMS system is a great step forward, and brings ease and accuracy to customers through sophisticated electronics in an easy to install, reliable design. This partnership is a natural fit between two companies that understand the hand hygiene market and allows STERIS to bring the latest advances in infection prevention to our customer base,” says Charlie Kilfoyle, senior product manager at STERIS Corporation. “Under the mounting pressures to lower readmissions, reduce costs and improve patient care, healthcare organizations can benefit from the unique and market-leading aspects of DebMed’s electronic hand hygiene monitoring technology, which we believe will be of significant value to our customers.”
Commenting on the partnership, Wallace Puckett, PhD, vice president of science and technology as well as general manager of healthcare consumables at STERIS, says, “Everyone realizes the important role proper hand hygiene can have on reducing healthcare-associated infections. Yet, despite numerous studies, gadgets and interventions, hand hygiene compliance in healthcare remains below 40 percent -- about where it was a decade ago. Electronic compliance monitoring systems are about to change this by providing meaningful and actionable information regarding hand hygiene within a hospital. I am very pleased that Deb has offered STERIS marketing rights for the DebMed GMS system in the U.S. healthcare market and am excited about introducing it to customers in coming months.”
STERIS will begin offering the DebMed GMS to both new and existing customers in April 2014.