University of Chicago Medical Center Selects Proventix Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring System

Proventix Systems, Inc. announces it will partner with the University of Chicago Medical Center in an initiative to improve hand hygiene quality and compliance monitoring. In this pilot, Proventix will install its nGage system on one clinical unit at the center.

"We have done extensive research in this field on the products that are available for radio-frequency identification badge-based hand-hygiene compliance monitoring, and we are interested in finding a system that could become a part of our clinical culture," says Emily Mawdsley, MD, instructor of medicine and associate hospital epidemiologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center. "We were seeking a system that included active messaging capabilities and a track record of results."

As an academic medical center, the University of Chicago is dedicated to teaching and research on quality improvement and patient safety. Stephen Weber, MD, associate professor of medicine and chief healthcare epidemiologist at the Medical Center, was seeking tools that could help identify ways to sustain high compliance with hand hygiene, a goal that has been elusive for hospitals worldwide. The nGage system was designed to help researchers like Mawdsley and Weber understand the role of individual feedback in shaping clinician behavior in hand hygiene compliance.

The nGage technology is a "smart" touchless system that monitors hand-hygiene compliance 24/7 without any disruption to workflow. Caregivers wear radio-frequency identification badges (RFID) that monitor hand-hygiene events upon entering and exiting a patient room. The system also includes communication screens in each patient room that can display hospital- or patient-specific information.

"In healthcare, caregivers heal with their hands," says Proventix CEO Harvey Nix. "They want to know that they are not spreading unnecessary infections with each point of contact. Proventix aims to provide them with the tools to do their jobs well while ensuring patient safety."

The University of Chicago infection prevention team chose nGage for this pilot program, which is designed to investigate how various technologies can help protect patients. Each year in the United States 1 out of every 20 hospital patients contracts a healthcare-associated infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Joint Commission, World Health Organization (WHO) and other healthcare-related organizations are placing increasing emphasis on the importance of effective hand-hygiene compliance to help reduce the spread of infection. They recognize the need for a powerful tool both to improve hand hygiene and to study the complex relationship between hand hygiene and healthcare-associated infections.