DebMed® Announces Results of 2015 Survey on Hand Hygiene and Patient Safety

North American market shows first indication that potential movement towards improved hand hygiene compliance measurement and implementation of better methods may be upon us

Nov 10, 2015, 10:00 ET from DebMed

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- DebMed®, a leader in the healthcare hand hygiene market and creator of the award-winning DebMed® GMS™ (Group Monitoring System), announces the results of its 4th annual survey on the state of healthcare hand hygiene compliance. Results from more than 850 healthcare professionals throughout North America clearly show that while improved methods for gathering reliable data with electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring are known to contribute to increased hand hygiene compliance, competing healthcare priorities and budgets still hinder the widespread adoption of these technologies.

According to the data gathered from more than 650 infection preventionists, nurses and other healthcare leaders in the U.S., and more than 200 in Canada, the state of healthcare hand hygiene compliance and compliance reporting has remained consistent over the past year. The manual methods of direct observation (DO) and secret shoppers still remain the primary methods used to measure and report hand hygiene compliance, while approximately 90 percent of respondents believe that the Hawthorne Effect over-inflates compliance rates. Further contradictions reveal that more than 80 percent of respondents are not extremely satisfied with their data, yet only a very small percentage (1.6 percent in the U.S. and 4 percent in Canada) are using electronic monitoring for hand hygiene compliance. Taking that a step further, the contradictions are compounded by the fact that 76% of respondents in the US and  67% in Canada believe electronic monitoring of hand hygiene compliance to be more accurate. Here is the breakdown:

Respondents who:



Use manual methods of direct observation or secret shoppers as the primary
method to measure and report hand hygiene compliance at their facility.



Believe the Hawthorne Effect overinflates compliance rates



Are not extremely satisfied with the data they report



Use electronic monitoring as the primary method to measure and report hand
hygiene compliance at their facility.



Believe electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring to be a more accurate
option than direct observation



"Healthcare professionals working in infection prevention, nursing and patient safety are an informed and highly educated audience, looking to make positive change in a highly regulated, budget intense healthcare environment," said Didier Bouton, President, DebMed. "Step one is awareness; knowledge of better options in hand hygiene to help healthcare facilities reduce costly and unnecessary hospital-acquired infections. And we believe we are on the brink of step two – a real movement for a significant shift in healthcare around hand hygiene measurement."

Change on the Horizon
Looking ahead, feedback from the survey is compelling that change is underfoot. With reports citing that hospital-acquired infections cost healthcare $10 billion each year, hospital leadership is acknowledging a need for focus and change. Additionally, new penalties are in place in the U.S. and increasing through 2018; all four CMS programs include HAI related measures. These factors likely contributed to the increase in C-suite awareness and action indicated by survey respondents.

Respondents who:



Say their CEO would mention increased hand hygiene compliance as one of
the top five priorities on which their organization is focused.



Have or are currently considering an electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system



Of those currently considering a purchase, have a budget - or are planning to
include a budget – allocated to the purchase of an electronic hand hygiene
monitoring system



"Healthcare is a business focused on prevention and positive patient outcomes, and from a business perspective and a patient safety and wellness issue, a focus on improved hand hygiene compliance monitoring and reporting is a necessity," said Carrie L. Howard-Canning, Associate Vice President of Patient Care Operations at Champlain Valley Physician's Hospital. "At CVPH, electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring is a foundational element of our infection prevention program. Having real time, accurate, 24/7 data from the DebMed® GMS™ allows us to improve our quality of care. All of our leaders understand and support this philosophy."

"The common adage in healthcare, that the industry is facing growing regulation with tighter budgets, rings very true for hand hygiene compliance and patient safety. While other priorities previously outranked hand hygiene, we are now seeing a movement and a widespread acknowledgement at all levels of healthcare – right up to the CEO – that now is the time to take action and improve hand hygiene compliance monitoring. Inaction has a far greater cost," continued Bouton.

For more results from the study, visit the DebMed website, and you can access the infographics at the DebMed Literature page.

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), winner of the 2013 Frost & Sullivan Hand Hygiene Solutions New Product Innovation Award, is the world's first group monitoring system to report hand hygiene compliance rates based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene" and to date has recorded more than 80 million hand hygiene events. The 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). For more information, visit