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Combatting Infection in Nursing Homes with Electronic Hand Hygiene

Unfortunately, completely avoidable harms occur on a daily basis in nursing homes, many of which are related to the spread of infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 700,000 individuals in the United States each year contract healthcare-associated infections, and 75,000 of those individuals die as a result. Professionals have spent many years trying to combat these infections with all different sorts of measures, including requiring certain standards for hand hygiene for workers. However, new technology exists that can make the process of accurately and reliably monitoring hand hygiene easier, which can help prevent the healthcare-associated infections.

Worldwide, the rate of compliance with hand hygiene in healthcare settings is about 50%. When direct observation measures hand hygiene compliance, the rate is usually about 90%, which clearly is a large overstatement of the actual compliance rate. This lends a false sense of security to healthcare facilities, their workers, and their patients. The problem of hand hygiene compliance is compounded by the fact that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) assesses penalties for low rates of compliance that cause healthcare facilities to lose revenue.

Electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems are useful in that they monitor compliance in a much more successful and accurate manner. There are two major types of electronic hand hygiene monitoring. One approach monitors the usage of a particular group, ward, or floor for general compliance, measuring the overall hand hygiene events against how many hand hygiene events that there should have been on the unit. The second approach involves individual monitoring. Individual workers typically use badges that communicate with hand hygiene systems in order to determine if the workers use the systems when they should. Electronic hand hygiene systems in general are far more effective and accurate in monitoring healthcare workers for hand hygiene compliance than simple observations.

If your loved one has suffered neglect at the hands of medical staff at a nursing home or other healthcare facility, you may have a valid personal injury claim. This type of situation makes it essential to contact an experienced Wisconsin nursing home neglect attorney in order to protect your rights and obtain the financial relief that you deserve. Certain healthcare providers have an obligation under the law to report suspected abuse or neglect of a nursing home or other facility resident. Those who fail to do so must face the consequences of their actions. Hold negligent Wisconsin healthcare providers responsible for their actions. Contact Boller & Vaughan today and learn how we can help you.