BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Alabama Power is partnering with 27 hospitals across the state and Birmingham-based Proventix Systems, Inc. to help reduce healthcare-associated infections, improve patient outcomes and help push down health costs.
The "Putting Power into Healthcare" initiative (PPHI) focuses on increasing hand hygiene in hospitals, which studies show can help cut down on healthcare-associated infections. These infections can complicate a medical condition, extend the time a patient stays in the hospital, and boost the costs of health care and health insurance.
The hospitals involved in the project have installed Proventix's nGage System, which uses active communication units and radio-frequency badges tied to a data and compliance monitoring system. By using the system, hospitals can measure when and how often their badged employees and healthcare professionals wash their hands. Participating hospitals have installed the system in patient rooms and other places where patient care is provided.
"Hand washing seems like such a simple thing, yet it is the most important action a caregiver can take to protect a patient from infection," said Dr. Rich Embrey, Chief Medical Officer of Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham. "The nGage System finally provides a way for our caregivers to know that they are providing this lifesaving action for each and every patient they touch."
Embrey and a team at Princeton Baptist conducted a seven-month study to determine whether increased hand-washing prompted by the nGage System could reduce infection rates. The results were significant: during the study period, infection rates dropped 22 percent in the unit where the system was installed. That translated into 159 fewer patient days and estimated health cost savings of more than $133,000.
"Healthcare-associated infections can affect us all, through personal experience, or the experience of a loved one," said Charles McCrary, Alabama Power president and CEO. "It's not just the personal suffering they cause; they also cost businesses millions of dollars every year in avoidable health expenses."
Harvey Nix, Proventix's chief executive officer, board chairman and founder, said Putting Power into Healthcare is the first initiative to use a sophisticated, data-backed network to encourage and track hand-washing across multiple hospitals in a single state. "PPHI is part of a bigger vision that goes beyond merely improving hand hygiene," Nix said. "We have an opportunity to improve the delivery of care through collaboration among healthcare workers and standardized processes. This effort is focused not only on infection prevention, but on quality care driven through effective communications."
McCrary said the program is a natural extension of Alabama Power's health and wellness programs, which have played a role in keeping employees healthier, reducing sick days and improving productivity. He said the hospitals participating in Putting Power into Healthcare are committed to doing what they can to help improve the health of their patients while lowering health care costs.
"No one wants to be sick, and no one wants to go to the hospital," McCrary said. "This program doesn't just help our employees who face a hospital stay. It will benefit everyone who steps inside these health care facilities."
The following hospitals are Putting Power into Healthcare:
- Andalusia Regional Hospital
- Baptist Medical Center East, Montgomery
- Baptist Medical Center South, Montgomery
- Brookwood Medical Center, Homewood
- Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital, Demopolis
- Children's of Alabama, Birmingham
- Citizens Baptist Medical Center, Talladega
- Cullman Regional Medical Center
- DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa
- Flowers Hospital, Dothan
- Infirmary West, Mobile
- Jackson Hospital and Clinic, Montgomery
- Jacksonville Medical Center
- North Mississippi Medical Center – Hamilton (Marion Regional)
- Medical Center Enterprise
- Medical West, an affiliate of UAB Health System
- Northwest Medical Center, Winfield
- Prattville Baptist Hospital
- Princeton Baptist Medical Center, Birmingham
- St. Vincent's Birmingham
- St. Vincent's East
- St. Vincent's Blount
- St. Vincent's St. Clair
- Shelby Baptist Medical Center
- Trinity Medical Center, Birmingham
- UAB Hospital, Birmingham
- Walker Baptist Medical Center, Jasper
To learn more, visit http://proventix.com/.
Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state.
NOTE TO TV ASSIGNMENT EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: B roll of the "nGage System" being used in the Putting Power into Healthcare initiative is available at http://alabamapower.pathfireondemand.com after 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Use the following user name and password:
User Name - breakingnews
Password - breakingnews
SOURCE Alabama Power