Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring Reduces MRSA Infection Rates
Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jul 13, 2016 in Medical Malpractice
Research from a new study shows that the use of an electronic hand hygiene monitoring system reduced the number of hospital-acquired infections in one healthcare system by 42 percent.
Investigators at the Greenville Health System in Greenville, SC, analyzed data from an electronic compliance system to monitor employees’ adherence with the World Health Organization’s Five Moments hand hygiene guidelines.
These guidelines identify five moments during interactions with patients that healthcare professionals should wash their hands:
- Before contact with a patient
- Before performing an aseptic task, which includes tasks involving contact with a patient’s mucous membrane, broken skin or an invasive medical device that requires sterilization
- After exposure to bodily fluids
- After contact with a patient
- After contact with a patient’s surroundings
The Five Moments concept was created as a simple way for healthcare professionals to understand when there are risks for spreading pathogens or infections and when they should eliminate that risk by washing their hands.
The study results show that compliance with the guidelines increased by 25.5 percent while the electronic system was in use. Furthermore, the rate of hospital-acquired Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections decreased by 42 percent.
Other studies have noted that healthcare workers are more compliant with hygiene guidelines when being observed. This method allowed the Greenville Health System to move from direct observation to a more indirect, yet accurate, method of monitoring compliance.
Hospital infections that result from healthcare professionals’ poor hygiene practices can cause serious, life-threatening injuries for patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospital-acquired infections are one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of a hospital-acquired infection, like MRSA, caused by a healthcare professional’s failure to uphold proper hygienic practices, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our experienced medical malpractice lawyers today to find out if you have a case and to learn more about your legal options.