Hand Hygiene Surveillance Start-Ups Look To Clean Up Health Care-Acquired Infections
This article was originally published in Start Up
If health care workers washed their hands before and after any patient contact, health care-acquired infection rates could be reduced by 50%. There is a great need for electronic tools that can automatically capture compliance behavior without disrupting workflow. We profile four health care information technology start-ups that are answering this call: BioVigil Systems, GLANTA, HanGenix and Proventix.
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Start-ups developing technologies to help hospitals avoid preventable medical errors known as “never events” are developing solutions to nosocomial infections, retained surgical objects, pressure ulcers, and medication errors.
The expense and complexity of some automated hand hygiene compliance and surveillance technologies have made cost justification and market adoption difficult. BioVigil Systems LLC is looking to eliminate these barriers with its simple to deploy chemical sensor and micro-processor on a personnel badge. The badge employs a metal oxide alcohol sensing device to detect when a health care worker has used an alcohol-based foam or gel hand hygiene product. The system is unique in that the room entry/exit technology, sensing, memory and communications capabilities are all self-contained within the badge. As such, the system moves with the worker, thereby not interrupting regular workflow.
Proventix Systems Inc. has developed nGage, a point-of-care quality monitoring system that utilizes wireless infrastructure and RFID technology to monitor, encourage and compel hand hygiene compliance without disrupting workflow. The system has tracked over seven million hand washing events to date, and the company reports an overall 24% decline in infections in its more than 40 installed locations.