Hand Hygiene Reaching New Quality Standards

Driving high quality standards is the focus of a recently published article in Australian Private Hospitals Association news, featuring sportsmed. 

Sportsmed is a healthcare provider with a private orthopedic hospital and specialist clinics, and the first in Australia to install BioVigil.

sportmed, with a 90%+ hand hygiene compliance rate, was far from struggling with hand hygiene. Alan Morrison, CEO sportsmed, believed they could still do better to drive higher quality and focusing on their patients:

“Patients can be assured that we are providing a safe environment for their care, and the visual nature of the system at all points of care means they can see that those caring for them have performed appropriate hand hygiene,” he said.

“The system is very visual and we engage with patients in regards to the system to empower them to question when a badge indicates someone hasn’t washed their hands. This is empowering for patients.”

Since installing BioVigil, sportsmed sustains a 97% hand hygiene compliance rate. Certainly, technology is a driving force for Morrison. He continues to look for ways to improve outcomes and the patient experience, even with already extremely high quality standards. Morrison explained:

“Smart, relevant and relatively inexpensive technologies like this one will probably gain traction, particularly where they solve specific problems and make marked differences.”

Click here to read the full article. 

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Source: Hand Hygiene Reaching New Quality Standards

Maureen Banks, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC, FACHE, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive of Spaulding Rehab Network shares successful BioVigil hand hygiene program experience

The Global Handwashing Partnership recently published an article featuring Ms. Maureen Banks, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC, FACHE, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive of the Spaulding Rehab Network. Maureen kicked off a highly successful hand hygiene project (as part of a larger infection control effort) which included implementing BioVigil. BioVigil was selected because it’s one of the only systems that “records hand hygiene opportunities and the performance of hand hygiene.”

After only six months, Spaulding saw a 75% drop in C.diff rates. As such, they are considering removing personal protective equipment in certain areas. The following key factors are noted for BioVigil’s success at Spaulding: thorough measurement, accountability and feedback, and leadership.

The Spaulding staff  appreciated receiving immediate feedback from the BioVigil badge:

As staff were successful, they began to see the system as a way to validate their strong  performance. Over time, Maureen says, “You knew that you were successful, and that motivated you to be able to be proud of your own success.” In addition to a source of pride, it also gave staff another way for their supervisors to provide positive feedback on their work.

Due to the success at Spaulding Cambridge, Maureen is planning how to scale BioVigil in other hospitals within the Spaulding network.

Click here to read the full article “How data, leadership, and accountability led to better hand hygiene.”


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Source: Maureen Banks, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC, FACHE, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive of Spaulding Rehab Network shares successful BioVigil hand hygiene program experience

Eight Reasons to Install an Electronic Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution

Eight Reasons to Install an Electronic Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution

Why consider installing an electronic hand hygiene compliance (EHHC) solution in your hospital? For care providers, hand hygiene compliance is basic. Of course, you know to wash your hands. It’s one of the first things you learned in school, most likely preschool. The problem lies within the fact that infection preventionists and nurse managers can’t be there to remind or coach healthcare workers to clean their hands at every hand hygiene opportunity, but electronic hand hygiene compliance solutions can. They also validate facilities’ safety obligation to ensure that hand hygiene is properly performed with each patient engagement.

In many cases, EHHC solutions have gentle reminders to perform hand hygiene if healthcare workers overlook it, or simply forget. Having the reminder has proven to be very powerful – reminders increase  hand hygiene compliance over 40%.

Hand hygiene increases compliance by 44% with gentle reminders

We use reminders all the time in our personal lives- for appointments, birthdays, to take vitamins and to call people. Why not use reminders to clean our hands in the hospital, especially in busy environments?

If you are a hospital officer or an infection preventionist, consider these eight reasons an EHHC solutions installation can help your hospital exceed its performance goals.

1. Build a Solid Foundation for Patient Safety and Infection Prevention
Hospitals spend millions of dollars each year on infection prevention efforts.  These efforts include disposable personal protective equipment, disinfecting solutions and wipes, UV disinfection systems, and catheters and central lines with antimicrobial technology to name a few. But without addressing hand hygiene, the fundamental cornerstone of infection prevention, hospitals are starting on a faulty foundation. In other words, it’s like building a house without a basement or cement slab- depending on where you live.

Without first addressing hand hygiene compliance, all other efforts will be less effective.  HAIs will continue to spread, costing the facility more harm and money, and its reputation. If you are an advocate for your team and your patients, and you want a solid house, it’s time to consider EHHC solutions.

2. For Your Patient’s Safety
The Patient Safety Movement and Handwashing for Life are well-known, proactive Patient Safety organizations. The Patient Safety Movement is driven by the mission to get to zero preventable deaths. As part of this mission, The Patient Safety Movement is asking hospitals to implement their Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) which recommends an Electronic Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution in “Challenge 2: Healthcare-associated Infections.”

The Handwashing for Life Institute’s charter is devoted to advancing the science of hand hygiene with the purpose of reducing the incidence of foodborne illness caused by poor hand hygiene practices. Interestingly, the organization believes in power of the data recorded by EHHC solutions and is now advocating for EHHC solutions in multiple industries.

The Leapfrog Group supports their mission of “safety, quality and affordability of U.S. health care” by delivering Hospital Safety Grades to help patients understand which hospitals provide the “safest care.” Hand washing is rated under “Practices to Prevent Errors” since it is the cornerstone of infection prevention and patient safety.

Last year, The Joint Commission took another step toward improving hand hygiene under IC, NPSG standards. With these recent requirements, how can hospitals ensure that all care providers are meeting hand hygiene requirements without an active reminder  solution?

Whether directly or indirectly, any organization advocating for patient safety recommends or is in support of the use of EHHC solutions.

3. Increase Patient Satisfaction and Engagement
Increasing patient satisfaction is paramount for many hospital executives. What better way to let patients know that your hospital staff have clean hands than proving it? By simply installing an EHHC solution, hospitals have experienced an increase in patient satisfaction.

A visitor to a hospital with an EHHC solution shared his story:

“Last weekend I was visiting a family member at Downstate Hospital when I asked a nurse about the badge she wore. She replied,” it’s a hand wash detector.” I was very impressed and had a huge sense of comfort not to worry about germs and diseases being transmitted because of bad (hand) hygiene. My family member was in the right place.”

– Edward Mayers, family member

4. Substantial Financial Savings
EHHC solutions directly improve the overall clinical, operational and financial performance of the organizations that use them. Let’s look at some numbers.
The following is a snapshot of the negative impact of three infection types over the course of a year for a 400+ bed hospital. And these numbers don’t even include the cost of potential penalties.

# Cases Excess                                  Cost per case*           Excess cost for total cases          Increase in Length of Stay (days) per case*      Increase in LOS for total cases
36 cases of CLABSI                                     $48,108                                 $1,731,888                                                           13.2                                                                                       475.2
12 cases of CAUTI                                        $13,793                                 $    165,516                                                             2.6                                                                                         31.2
78 cases of C. diff                                         $17,260                                 $1,346,280                                                             5.7                                                                                       444.6

*Excess Cost per Case $’s reflected are Https://ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/pfp/haccost2017

An EHHC solution can reduce HAIs up to 80% after the first year of implementation. To conservatively show the significant cost savings and reduction in patient days, we’ll only use 25%.

25% Fewer Cases                           Costs Savings                        LOS Reduction
27 case of CLABSI                                    $432,972                                     118.8   days
9 cases of CAUTI                                      $   41,379                                               8   days
58 cases of C.diff                                       $345,200                                        114   days

To summarize, this hospital reduced their patient days by 241 and saved $819,551 by avoiding 32 HAI cases.  All because an electronic hand hygiene compliance solution reduced their HAIs by 25%.

5. Accurate Data You Can Use
Besides saving time and money, EHHC solutions exponentially increase the amount and accuracy of hand hygiene compliance data recorded. In general,by using direct observation methods, a hospital may observe and record 200 hand hygiene events every month, or 2,400 a year. And let’s be honest- we know that the accuracy of direct observation is questionable. Hospitals that use conventional methods to assess hand hygiene rates (direct observation/ secret shopper) commonly report a compliance of 90-95% rate, knowing that the number is inflated by the act of observation (Hawthorne effect). In fact, it’s most likely closer to 40%.

With the right EHHC Solution, hand hygiene events captured range between 16,000 – 20,000 a day (depending on the number of beds) or 5.8M events a year. Most importantly, the compliance rate collected with these events is accurate, not compromised by bias, observation, or human error. By collecting the right data and running the right reports, you should be able to see where individuals and teams need to improve (not for punitive measures- we love our care providers), who is exceeding their goals, and longer term, how system use correlates with increased compliance, reduced HAIs and reduced staff absenteeism.

6. Massive Time Savings
Managing direct observation and secret shoppers is time consuming for nurse managers and infection preventionists. It’s not effective because of the Hawthorne Effect (people act differently when they know they are being observed) and not enough data is collected to make it viable. Additionally, the time required for collecting data and making meaningful calculations is cumbersome. EHHC solutions remove this burden by doing everything automatically; collecting data and building easy to read reports which allow care providers to focus on patient care instead of crunching compliance numbers.

7. Dramatically Reduce HAIs
The clinical evidence in support of electronic hand hygiene solutions is increasing – Electronic hand hygiene monitoring solutions with reminder systems are in fact reducing HAIs. Results vary depending on the facility and length of time the system has been in place. White Plains Hospital published a recent study in the American Journal of Infection Control citing a 45% reduction in CLABSI and 55% reduction in CAUTI. Other hospitals are seeing similar results but have not yet published. One example includes San Gorgonio Hospital in California. San Gorgonio experienced a 50% reduction in C. diff after one year. In 2018, the team reported zero C. diff cases.

8. Increase and Sustain Hand Hygiene Compliance
Awareness campaigns and conventional hand hygiene initiatives can improve compliance, but only temporarily. Once the campaign is over, compliance rates tend to fall back to their baseline levels. Sustained hand hygiene compliance can only be accomplished with a gentle reminder. Not all electronic hand hygiene compliance solutions are the same- some only track hand hygiene. It’s important that you select a solution with a reminder to support care providers in following safety protocols and enable hospitals to increase and sustain compliance. If you are starting from 40%, increasing to 95% and sustaining it makes a world of difference to the safety culture overall. Many hospitals using EHHC solutions are experiencing sustained compliance above 95%.

Every healthcare provider thinks they clean their hands according to hospital protocol, but it’s always helpful to have a 24 x 7 reminder, for those times when someone forgets. Think about it this way: if it was you or your loved one lying in the hospital bed, wouldn’t you much prefer to know that the care provider has clean hands instead of having to ask? And with all these benefits (8 reasons), how can it not be a priority?

Facilities already performing at extremely high levels can choose to demonstrate their brilliance with hand hygiene by implementing a system that has a reminder, reiterating to staff and patients that they are receiving exceptional care.

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Source: Eight Reasons to Install an Electronic Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution

Downstate featured in HANYs Innovation Spotlight

The Hospital Association of New York’s (HANYS) Innovation Spotlight features hospitals that improve health, enhance quality and reduce costs. BioVigil is proud to partner with SUNY Downstate on achieving impressive outcomes with hand hygiene compliance and reducing healthcare associated infections.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center halts healthcare-associated infections

Healthcare-associated infections kill more than 72,000 patients yearly in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the most effective way to stop the spread of infection is to ensure that caregivers have clean hands, but monitoring care providers is tedious and limited, leaving staff and patients exposed to a higher risk of infection transmission.

In 2018, SUNY Downstate Medical Center launched a novel initiative to improve hand hygiene with the new, state-of-the-art BioVigil system to prevent HAIs and increase hand hygiene compliance. The colored lights on the BioVigil badge visually communicate hand hygiene compliance. Red is stop and wash hands; yellow is a reminder; green means hands are clean. This provides reassurance to patients and families that their care provider has clean hands and helps providers track their hygiene. One patient’s family member, after noticing a BioVigil badge, commented that he was “very impressed and had a huge sense of comfort not to worry about germs and diseases being transmitted because of bad [hand] hygiene.”

In less than eight months, Downstate recorded nearly six million hand hygiene occurrences, roughly 803 an hour. In addition to increasing patient quality and satisfaction, hand hygiene compliance increased by 200% and the numbers are still climbing. Cross-contamination events were reduced by 50%.

For more information, contact Robert Gwizdala, MPH, RN, director, epidemiology and infection control, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, at (718) 270-2344 or at robert.gwizdala@downstate.edu.



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BioVigil named in Becker’s Hospital Review: 100 Infection Control Products to Know in 2019

BioVigil named in Becker’s Hospital Review list of “100 Infection Control Products to know in 2019.” BioVigil is featured in the “Hand Hygiene” category for helping clients achieve and sustain 97% hand hygiene compliance, reduce Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs) and increase patient safety and satisfaction.

BioVigil is the market leader in electronic hand hygiene compliance solutions. BioVigil’s patented technology enables hospitals to sustain 97% hand hygiene compliance and reduce HAIs with a gentle reminder system that increases patient engagement.

At the center of the solution is BioVigil’s Data Suite. BioVigil’s Data Suite delivers actionable insights for hospitals to optimize workflow. These insights are available on demand or in easy to understand reports. Our team is a dedicated collective of healthcare warriors, technology enthusiasts, data wonks, seekers of excellence, and passion-fueled folks.  Our team really wants to make a difference in healthcare, and ultimately partner with our customers to help save lives.

Becker’s 100 Infection Control Products to Know in 2019 list was developed by Becker’s Hospital Review and is based on internal research and nominations. Products and solutions are categorized by the following: UV disinfectants, catheters and central lines, disinfectants and detergents, hand hygiene products, health technology, reprocessing, products for surgical procedures and textiles.

BioVigil is honored to be selected for quality in electronic hand hygiene compliance solutions.

Click here to read the entire list.


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