Northeast Georgia Health System and DebMed Announce Collaborative Partnership To Enhance Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality Health System To Automate Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DebMed®, creator of the world's first electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system based on the World Health Organization's (WHO's) "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene," today announced a collaborative partnership with Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) in Gainesville, GA.  The 557-inpatient, 261-skilled nursing bed health system, which serves almost 700,000 people in more than 13 counties across Northeast Georgia, will enhance patient safety and healthcare quality through the implementation and use of the DebMed GMS™ electronic hand hygiene monitoring system to further support its goal of eliminating hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).

HAIs are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are responsible for 99,000 deaths per year and result in up to $45 billion in annual healthcare costs. The DebMed GMS helps to increase hand hygiene compliance, which can directly lead to a reduction in HAIs and associated healthcare costs, through its unique ability to provide real-time feedback on hand hygiene behavior.

"The ability of the DebMed GMS to provide automated, evidenced-based feedback in real time, based on the WHO's 'Five Moments,' was a natural fit with our goal of creating a culture of increased patient safety," said Sam Johnson, MD, Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of NGHS. "The implementation of the DebMed GMS is important to further support the hospital's mission to improve hospital performance and patient outcomes and to foster a safe hospital environment."

NGHS is a not-for-profit community health system dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of the people of Northeast Georgia.  The Health System offers a full range of healthcare services through its hospital in Gainesville, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, which was named one of the country's 100 Top Hospitals for 2009 by Thomson Reuters.  The DebMed Program was reviewed in detail and approved by NGHS's Patient Safety Committee and Strategic Administrative Leadership Team.

The implementation of the DebMed GMS further supports NGHS's continued patient safety improvements, such as its goal to eliminate HAIs, 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, the DebMed GMS 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 an invasion of privacy.  The DebMed GMS also provides such supporting tools as staff meeting facilitation guides and visual reminders to help enable positive behavior change and ultimately create a safer environment for the patient.

"Early adopters of patient safety technology, such as the Northeast Georgia Health System, are leading the change and setting the standard for other healthcare institutions to provide the highest level of patient safety," said Paul Alper, Vice President Strategy and Business Development, Deb Worldwide Healthcare, Inc.  "We are excited to provide evidence-based information and tools, which encourage increased hand hygiene compliance, patient safety and healthcare quality."

About DebMed®
DebMed is the healthcare program of the Deb Group.  The DebMed program offers innovative hand hygiene products, electronic monitoring technology, and improvement tools to support hand hygiene compliance.  The DebMed® GMS™ (Group Monitoring System) is the world's first group monitoring system to report hand hygiene compliance rates in real-time based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene" and to date has recorded more than 16 million hand hygiene events.  The electronic monitoring system is being utilized in a four year, multi-site research project being conducted by the Columbia University School of Nursing and funded by a $1.2 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).  It is the first study aimed at reducing healthcare-associated infections in pediatric long-term care facilities by improving staff compliance with hand hygiene guidelines.  Deb is the first hand hygiene company in the world to provide actionable information along with its hand hygiene products to help drive best practices and improved outcomes for patients worldwide.

For more information on the study or DebMed, visit www.debmed.com.

About Deb Group
Possessing international scale and strong local market presence, Deb Group provides innovative skin care programs for all types of workplace and public environments, spanning industrial, commercial, healthcare and food sectors.  Headquartered in the United Kingdom with US operations based in Charlotte, NC, Deb Group is comprised of 21 companies operating in 16 countries.  For more information, visit www.debgroup.com.

SOURCE DebMed



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