DebMed®, a leader in the healthcare hand hygiene market and creator of the award-winning DebMed® GMS™ (Group Monitoring System), announces the results of its 4th annual survey on the state of healthcare hand hygiene compliance. Results from more than 850 healthcare professionals throughout North America clearly show that while improved methods for gathering reliable data with electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring are known to contribute to increased hand hygiene compliance, competing healthcare priorities and budgets still hinder the widespread adoption of these technologies.
According to the data gathered from more than 650 infection preventionists, nurses and other healthcare leaders in the U.S., and more than 200 in Canada, the state of healthcare hand hygiene compliance and compliance reporting has remained consistent over the past year. The manual methods of direct observation (DO) and secret shoppers still remain the primary methods used to measure and report hand hygiene compliance, while approximately 90 percent of respondents believe that the Hawthorne Effect over-inflates compliance rates. Further contradictions reveal that more than 80 percent of respondents are not extremely satisfied with their data, yet only a very small percentage (1.6 percent in the U.S. and 4 percent in Canada) are using electronic monitoring for hand hygiene compliance. Taking that a step further, the contradictions are compounded by the fact that 76 percent of respondents in the U.S. and 67 percent in Canada believe electronic monitoring of hand hygiene compliance to be more accurate.
“Healthcare professionals working in infection prevention, nursing and patient safety are an informed and highly educated audience, looking to make positive change in a highly regulated, budget intense healthcare environment,” says Didier Bouton, president of DebMed. “Step one is awareness; knowledge of better options in hand hygiene to help healthcare facilities reduce costly and unnecessary hospital-acquired infections. And we believe we are on the brink of step two – a real movement for a significant shift in healthcare around hand hygiene measurement.”
Looking ahead, feedback from the survey is compelling that change is underfoot. With reports citing that hospital-acquired infections cost healthcare $10 billion each year, hospital leadership is acknowledging a need for focus and change. Additionally, new penalties are in place in the U.S. and increasing through 2018; all four CMS programs include HAI related measures. These factors likely contributed to the increase in C-suite awareness and action indicated by survey respondents.
“Healthcare is a business focused on prevention and positive patient outcomes, and from a business perspective and a patient safety and wellness issue, a focus on improved hand hygiene compliance monitoring and reporting is a necessity,” says Carrie L. Howard-Canning, associate vice president of patient care operations at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital. “At CVPH, electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring is a foundational element of our infection prevention program. Having real time, accurate, 24/7 data from the DebMed® GMS™ allows us to improve our quality of care. All of our leaders understand and support this philosophy.”
“The common adage in healthcare, that the industry is facing growing regulation with tighter budgets, rings very true for hand hygiene compliance and patient safety. While other priorities previously outranked hand hygiene, we are now seeing a movement and a widespread acknowledgement at all levels of healthcare – right up to the CEO – that now is the time to take action and improve hand hygiene compliance monitoring. Inaction has a far greater cost,” adds Bouton.
For more results from the study, visit the DebMed website.