Cooley Dickinson Hospital is First in New England to Implement Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring


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 that Cooley Dickinson Hospital has become the first in the New England region to implement the DebMed® GMS electronic hand hygiene monitoring system. Located in Northampton, Mass., the 140-bed community hospital is a recognized leader in patient safety, and will further support its goal of eliminating healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) with the DebMed system implementation.

"The adoption of the DebMed GMS is important to further support the hospital's mission to create the safest possible environment for our patients," says Linda Riley, MEd, RN, CIC, manager of infection prevention at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. "With our sights set on eliminating hospital-acquired infections, electronic monitoring of hand hygiene is the next step in our journey toward zero infections. DebMed is a trusted industry leader with the advanced technology that will help us to deliver the best results for our patients."

A recipient of the prestigious Healthgrades' top 5 percent patient safety award for four years in a row (2009-2012), Cooley Dickinson has been a recognized leader in patient safety and the use of innovative technologies. With ultraviolet light room disinfection (Xenex), they were able to achieve considerable milestones in 2011, such as a 54 percent reduction is Clostridium difficile infections, a 58 percent reduction in MRSA infections/colonization, and a 65 percent reduction in VRE infections. The implementation of the DebMed GMS further supports Cooley Dickinson's forward thinking and quest for continued patient safety improvements, such as its goal to reduce the number of HAIs to zero, by improving infection prevention practices based on the data from electronic monitoring of hand hygiene using the WHO's guidelines.  The WHO's Five Moments for Hand Hygiene is a higher clinical standard than the more commonly based practice of staff cleaning hands only before and after patient care.

In addition to following the WHO guidelines, other benefits of the DebMed GMS are that is automated, highly accurate and provides group monitoring, which encourages higher compliance by monitoring the group instead of individuals. Group monitoring is recognized by infection preventionists as being more effective than other monitoring systems that track individuals' actions and can be seen by staff as punitive or as an invasion of privacy. The DebMed GMS also provides supporting tools, such as staff meeting facilitation guides and visual reminders, to help enable positive behavior change, ultimately creating a safer environment for the patient.

"We are honored to have Cooley Dickinson, a leading hospital for innovative, patient safety initiatives, champion the DebMed GMS," says Heather McLarney, vice president of marketing for DebMed. "Early adopters of patient safety technology, such as Cooley Dickinson, set the high standard for other healthcare facilities to adapt to the growing safety expectations of patients. We are looking forward to helping them achieve improved outcomes and meet their goal of zero HAIs."

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