Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Leader in Patient Safety, Becomes First in New England to Implement Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring

Facility on the Path to Eliminating Hospital Acquired Infections with DebMed® GMS™

Oct 31, 2012, 12:15 ET from DebMed(R)

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 31, 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 that Cooley Dickinson Hospital has become the first in the New England region to implement the DebMed® GMS™ electronic hand hygiene monitoring system.  Located in Northampton, Mass., the 140-bed community hospital is a recognized leader in patient safety, and will further support its goal of eliminating hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) with the DebMed system implementation.

Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are responsible for 99,000 deaths per year and result in $35.7 to $45 billion annually in 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 adoption of the DebMed GMS is important to further support the hospital's mission to create the safest possible environment for our patients," said Linda Riley, MEd, RN, CIC, Manager, Infection Prevention, Cooley Dickinson Hospital. "With our sights set on eliminating hospital-acquired infections, electronic monitoring of hand hygiene is the next step in our journey toward zero infections. DebMed is a trusted industry leader with the advanced technology that will help us to deliver the best results for our patients."

A recipient of the prestigious Healthgrades' top five-percent patient safety award for four years in a row (2009 – 2012), Cooley Dickinson has been a recognized leader in patient safety and the use of innovative technologies. With ultraviolet light room disinfection (Xenex), they were able to achieve considerable milestones in 2011, such as a 54 percent reduction is Clostridium difficile infections, a 58 percent reduction in MRSA infections/colonization, and a 65 percent reduction in VRE infections. The implementation of the DebMed GMS further supports Cooley Dickinson's forward thinking and quest for continued patient safety improvements, such as its goal to reduce the number of HAIs to zero, 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, other benefits of the DebMed GMS are that 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 as an invasion of privacy. The DebMed GMS also provides supporting tools, such as staff meeting facilitation guides and visual reminders, to help enable positive behavior change, ultimately creating a safer environment for the patient.

"We are honored to have Cooley Dickinson, a leading hospital for innovative, patient safety initiatives, champion the DebMed GMS," said Heather McLarney, Vice President of Marketing, DebMed. "Early adopters of patient safety technology, such as Cooley Dickinson, set the high standard for other healthcare facilities to adapt to the growing safety expectations of patients. We are looking forward to helping them achieve improved outcomes and meet their goal of zero HAIs."

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

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

About Cooley Dickinson Hospital
Cooley Dickinson, a full-service community hospital, is ranked in the top 5 percent of all U.S. hospitals in patient safety by HealthGrades®, the country's leading independent health care ratings organization. It is the only hospital in the Springfield area to achieve the HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™ for four consecutive years, 2009- 2012. Cooley Dickinson's staff of 1,650 professionals and more than 300 affiliated physicians comprise a network of emergency, surgical, clinical, rehabilitative, hospice and home care expertise that treats 40,000 emergency patients per year, delivers 800 babies, and collaborates with Massachusetts General Hospital to deliver comprehensive cancer care. Cooley Dickinson's vision is to make the Upper Pioneer Valley the nation's model healthy community, able to provide local access to the most advanced clinical treatments in a caring and neighborly setting. Learn more at

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