Advanced Monitoring System Dramatically Improves Handwashing by Healthcare Workers


New data from Hill-Rom shows its hand hygiene compliance system dramatically increases handwashing among hospital staff using the system. Analysis of more than 20 million instances of handwashing shows institutions using Hill-Rom's Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution have achieved an average 226 percent improvement in compliance, with some institutions showing compliance by caregivers nearly tripled.(1) 

The Hill-Rom Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution uses badge-based locating technology to provide automatic, continuous monitoring and recording of every time a staff member uses a hand-hygiene station.

The company discussed the new data with infection control professionals from around the world at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) 42nd annual conference held in late June in Nashville, Tenn.

Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a serious threat. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one in every 15 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-acquired infection.(2) In the United States alone, the cost of HAIs is estimated at between $25 and $45 billion(3) and each year 75,000 will die with an HAI.(4)

Experts in nearly every major public health organization agree that ineffective hand hygiene 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.(5) The most effective strategy to improve hand hygiene compliance includes monitoring hand hygiene behaviors and implementing performance-based interventions.(6)

"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. We showcase our highest individual compliance performer on a monthly basis," says Dr. Javier Reyes Mar, head of epidemiologic surveillance at Medica Sur Hospital in Mexico City, Mexico, a site included in the analysis. "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."

The Hill-Rom Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution is in use at innovative academic medical centers and community hospitals in the United States and Latin America. 

"Handwashing is simple, but also simple to forget in a busy healthcare environment," says Alton Shader, senior vice president, North America, at Hill-Rom. "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 Hill-Rom Hand Hygiene Solution was designed to establish a 24/7 tracking and reminder system that fits seamlessly into clinical workflow.  The system helps hospital teams change hand washing behavior without changing workflow via a proven change management process that works in concert with hands-on clinical support and best-in-class technology. The solution enables real-time feedback and is helping clinicians to achieve dramatic improvements in hand washing compliance.

Additionally, the real-time locating technology used for hand-hygiene monitoring can be leveraged for other use cases as well, including: nurse call, smart bed connectivity, staff locating, asset tracking and environmental monitoring.

1. Data on file. Hill-Rom® Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution: Customer Dashboard Report. June, 2015.
2. World Health Organization, Health care-associated infections Fact Sheet. Available at: 
3. Scott, R.D. "The direct medical costs of healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals and the benefits of prevention" (Publication No. CS200891-A). United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at:
4. United States Centers for Disease Control. Healthcare-associated Infections – Data and Statistics. Available at:
5. Erasmus et al "Systematic review of studies on Compliance with Hand Hygiene guidelines in Hospital care", Infection control and hosp epidemiology, March 2010, Vol 31 No. 3.
6. Huis et al. "A systematic review of hand hygiene improvement strategies: a behavioral approach", Implementation Science 2012, Vol 7: pg 92.

Source: Hill-Rom

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