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As increasing patient safety, reducing costs, and lowering readmissions remain high priorities for healthcare systems across the U.S., improved methods for encouraging increased hand hygiene to help meet these goals are being discussed. On Dec. 10, during the Institute for Healthcare Improvement 25th Annual National Forum in Orlando, Fla., the presentation, "Lead the Change to Improved Patient Safety and Quality: Moving Beyond Direct Observation to Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring," will describe the advantages of using an electronic monitoring system to track hand hygiene compliance over the manual direct observation method commonly used today.
Electronic monitoring systems, and particularly group (vs. individual) monitoring systems, can provide a better way to give performance feedback and help drive improvement. This topic is particularly poignant as healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) remain an issue, with one in 20 patients contracting an infection, resulting in 1.7 million infections in the US annually, and causing 100,000 deaths.
Recent clinical studies show evidence that the widely used method of manual direct observation of cleaning hands only "before and after" patient care should no longer be the standard for hospitals. Furthermore, in a survey of more than 400 healthcare professionals from across the United States done by DebMedÂ®, creator of an electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system based on the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Five Moments for Hand Hygiene, 90 percent of participants reported that they believe the WHO Five Moments for Hand Hygiene is a higher clinical standard that helps reduce the spread of infections better than cleaning just before and after patient care, which can miss up to 50 percent of hand hygiene opportunities, potentially putting patients at risk for infection.
During the IHI presentation, the DebMedÂ® GMS (Group Monitoring System) which automatically measures the WHO Five Moments for Hand Hygiene, will be shown by DebMed vice president Heather McLarney to be an accurate and reliable method to provide hospitals with timely and actionable hand hygiene compliance data. Infection prevention, patient safety and healthcare quality professionals, and senior hospital leaders interested in improving overall quality and patient safety by reducing preventable infections should attend.
DebMed will be hosting one-on-one demonstration of the DebMed GMS throughout the show atÂ the company'sÂ booth #1107.