Health care-associated infections are drawing increasing attention from patients, insurers, governments and regulatory bodies. This is not only due to the morbidity, mortality and cost of treatment associated with these infections, but also because most of these cases are preventable.
In the United States alone, more than 2 million patients annually acquire infections while in the hospital. Almost 100,000 of these people die every year. These infections cost hospitals between $4.7 and $5 billion (indirect costs are estimated at between $48 and $53 billion annually).
Evidence clearly indicates that strict adherence to hand hygiene reduces the risk of cross-transmission of infections. Therefore, hospitals need a system that monitors adherence to hand hygiene policies. Also, hospitals need to implement this monitoring program in all of their facilities to get the data necessary to fully analyze an instance of HAI (Healthcare Associated Infection). In turn, this will maximize peer influence on developing a culture of compliance.
To see how Supervision’s products can make this process possible, let’s walk through a nurse’s visit to a patient’s room. The patient is in a single-bed room, an antimicrobial disinfectant dispenser mounted on the wall just inside the door. The nurse is wearing an ID badge that contains a passive UHF RFID tag.
On entering the room, a sensor reacts to the nurse entering by activating a reader mounted to the door. The reader records the date, time, location and RFID tag number and then transmits this information to the server. Upon entering the room, the nurse places a hand under the solution dispenser. A sensor alongside the unit activates the onboard reader, which records this event and transmits this information to the server as well. The nurse interacts with the patient and uses the solution dispenser again before exiting the room. The door sensor activates again and transmits this new event.
The nurse goes to the computer and enters the patient’s information. After completing the data entry, the nurse proceeds to the next patient’s room and repeats the process.
While this may seem complicated, all of these events are monitored automatically without any action needed from the nurse other than the normal routine. There are many possible alternatives to this simple example, but in all cases where an event involving hand hygiene or going into a patient’s room occurs, data is being collected that will assist the Infection Preventionist.
The data collected during this process has many other uses in addition to HHCM. It can:
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