Sealed Air Introduces VSS Vision Safety Solutions to Enhance Hand Hygiene Compliance

Sealed Air Corporation introduces VSS Vision Safety Solutions, which enables healthcare facilities to improve hand hygiene compliance among health professionals. The VSS service increases hygiene and safety in hospitals through its innovative technology that visually detects, records and notifies of improper or insufficient handwashing and sanitizing events.

"VSS Vision Safety Solutions is the first joint offering from Sealed Air and Diversey, which is now part of Sealed Air following the completion of the acquisition on Oct. 3, 2011," says William V. Hickey, Sealed Air's CEO. "It leverages Sealed Air technology and Diverseys expertise in cleaning and hygiene and its access to major health care providers. The VSS system also offers Diversey® brand hand hygiene products."

Currently available only in the United States, VSS offers healthcare providers a cost-effective way to reduce the number of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) by increasing compliance with hand hygiene. VSS Vision Safety Solutions is currently in trial at several healthcare facilities in the United States, including the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview and Indiana University Health. These institutions are using the VSS service offering to detect and record when hand hygiene occurs; the duration of each hand washing event; and confirmation that each individual uses soap and/or sanitizer.

"VSS enables us to have hand washing data down to the individual worker level," says Dr. Douglas Webb, medical director of infection prevention at Indiana University Health. "This information was not available to us before. As a result, we can ensure our healthcare providers are in full compliance and correct any deficiencies in their practices."

"VSS delivers data that we can then use to change behaviors and take our organization to the next level of excellence," says Russ Williams, vice president of professional services at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. 

"Providing employees with actionable information on a regular basis helps healthcare facilities improve their hand hygiene compliance rate which ultimately results in improved patient care," says Carolyn Cooke, vice president of Diversey Americas Health Care Sales. "VSS Vision Safety Solutions is uniquely capable of providing an assessment of hand washing techniques, including water and soap use and the length of time spent washing."

The VSS technology, powered by Sealed Airs patent-pending VTID Vision Tracking and Identification system, is a computer vision technology consisting of RFID sensors and software programs that utilize complex algorithms to process and analyze the imagery. The system detects non-compliant imagery and can transmit alerts that can be accessed by hospital staff members only. In addition to monitoring for compliance, the data can be used for training.

Each healt care worker wears an ID badge with an RFID tag that detects when they approach a sink or sanitizing station. A small digital detection device that is strategically positioned monitors each handwashing event. An additional detection device then records if soap or sanitizer is used and how long the handwashing event takes place.

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