contact. HIBICLENS has a 24-hour residual effect on a wide range of germs. “Clostridium difficile (C. diff) has been rec- ognized as the most common HAI patho- gen in acute-care hospitals,” continued Meyer. She referred to a study of HCWs’ hands sampled within half an hour of con- tact with patients who had C. diff, which found that 60 percent were contaminated, even following simple activities such as returning drug charts to the end of beds.2 “Compared to patients without C. diff infection (CDI), those infected experience an estimated 77 percent higher chance of being readmitted within 30 days and have a 55 percent longer hospital stay of nearly five days,” continued Meyer.

DebMed hand-hygiene--compliance

monitoring system and Alcare Extra hand sanitizer, from S.C. Johnson Professional

visibility to the top risk factor for HAIs: hand hygiene.

The DebMed System is clinically proven

to be an accurate and reliable method of measuring compliance based on WHO 5-Moments and CDC guidance. He advised that the DebMed System offers robust real-time reporting capabilities, accessible online or by email, to analyze and interpret HH performance and trends for all unit personnel, including nurses, doctors, ancil- lary staff, patients, and visitors. It allows hospitals to compare how often its staff actu- ally performs HH to how often they should perform HH, “allowing facilities to coach for improvement using reliable information,” Chapius asserted.

Hibiclens Antiseptic/Antimicrobial Skin Cleanser from Mölnlycke

Relating the instance of a 689-bed hospital

that experienced a 70 percent decrease in CDI rates with use of HIBICLENS for patient bathing, Meyer said, “It was concluded the C. diff spores may have been physically removed during the washing or bathing pro- cess, thus lowering the rates.3


combines the action of soap-and-water washing with the advantage of CHG. CHG is active against vegetative cells and inhibits spore germination.”

Hand-hygiene monitoring systems enable accuracy Direct observation, long considered the gold standard of HH monitoring, is time- consuming, labor-intensive, costly, and notoriously inaccurate. Electronic HH compliance monitoring ensures accuracy, transparency, and accountability. “Hospital-acquired condition (HAC) scores now include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and C. diff rates,” said Chapius. “These two changes have resulted in more hospitals turning to electronic monitoring systems. While the key benefit of these systems is increased patient safety, hospitals are also better prepared for regulatory audits and now have accurate

A peer-reviewed study that measured HH compliance based on WHO 5 Moments showed a 746-bed teaching hospital’s HH compliance rate improved by 25.5 percent, accompanied by a reduction in hospital- onset MRSA infections by 42 percent and a reduction of costs by $434,000 over the study period.4

Kathleen Burzycki, Senior Marketing Manager, Ecolab Healthcare, also com- mented on the evolution of electronic HH compliance monitoring and talked about how their system encourages HH compli- ance. “More evidence is available today on the effectiveness of electronic HH compli- ance monitoring systems in reducing HAIs. We have noticed a significant uptick in the number of hospitals expressing an interest in this system, budgeting for it, and implement- ing it. The ability to demonstrate the impact of a compliance monitoring system on HH, infection rates, and patient safety in hospitals is key to implementation of this technology. “We offer a programmatic approach,” said Burzycki. “Not only does this system monitor HH compliance but it also ties in sanitizer and soap, to offer hospitals a variety of efficacious options. Ecolab’s Compliance Monitoring System helps change HCW be- havior by tracking patient interactions and dispenses, and by giving HCWs real-time feedback on their compliance in the form of lights and chirps. This can raise awareness


and compliance immediately. The analogy we like to use is the seatbelt reminder light: when you forget to be safe, your car will beep and flash a light until you buckle up. “We have tracked the Centers for Medi- care and Medicaid Services’ rates of key infections, including MRSA, C. diff, catheter- associated urinary tract infection, and central-line–associated bloodstream infec-

Ecolab’s Compliance Monitoring System

tion, across five separate hospitals and have seen that, after one year of implementation, there has been a 25 percent decrease in these infections. This equates to nearly 100 fewer infections within a year,” stated Burzycki. Burzycki pointed to a study on use of their system and corresponding increase in HH compliance.5

“By the end of the

documented study period, three hospitals were averaging 86 to 90 percent compli- ance. These hospitals continue to utilize the system and continue to maintain and elevate these compliance rates.”5 Chris Hermann, PhD, Founder and CEO, Clean Hands – Safe Hands, talked about factors leading to the need for raising the bar on HH compliance. “Due to the grow- ing pressures from insurers and regulatory bodies, HH is becoming a top priority for nearly all leading health systems.” Hermann described how their reminder system takes HH performance to the next level in three ways. “First, our Real-Time Voice Reminder gently reminds providers to clean their hands when they forget. A human voice does the best job of getting their attention without alarm fatigue setting in. Hand hygiene typically doubles or even triples with the voice. Second, our data visu- alization suite offers unprecedented insights into the highest risk areas. Through our Performance Bubble Plots, managers can see individual clinician performance, to focus their efforts on the small handful of individu- als that make up the greatest organizational risk. Our Real-Time Intervention Blueprints display HH performance by hospital room and patient condition, and risk-prediction

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