Electronic hand hygiene-monitoring system cut MRSA HAI rates by 42 percent

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After introducing an electronic monitoring system for hand-hygiene compliance, researchers from Greenville (S.C.) Health System reported a decline in methicillin-resistant Staphyolococcus aureus infection rates by up to 42 percent, according to a new study in the American Journal of Infection Control.

The system adopted the World Health Organization's My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene in 2009 and implemented its electronic monitoring system in 2012. During a 33-month period that followed, from July 2012 to March 2015, they noted a significant improvement in hand hygiene compliance for 111 of 225 units quarters analyzed in the study.

Among the results, the authors noted consistent improvement in hand hygiene compliance from the time when the electronic monitoring system was implemented. They also suggest the interventions prevented 24 MRSA infections, savings the hospital approximately $434,000.

"Our data add to the increasing body of evidence that improved HHC is associated with decreased healthcare–associated infection," the authors concluded. "Of note, our study is unique in that we used unit-specific WHO5-based electronic monitoring to show unit-specific reductions in MRSA infections. In addition, we show that electronic monitoring of hand hygiene can lead to clinically important organizational change and, most importantly, improved patient safety."

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