Experts Agree: Hand Hygiene is the Best Way to Fight Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)

Virginia had a fall. She broke her hip and had to be hospitalized while in recovery. She received excellent care while rehabilitating. The staff at the health care facility was friendly and helpful. They catered to her every need. But Virginia is never going to return to that facility for care again.

Why?

While Virginia was hospitalized she contracted pneumonia. This  set her back in her rehab and extended her hospital stay. This kept her away from her family. Virginia liked her doctors, but she wants to go to a hospital where she feels safe from infection.

Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) Are Bad for Both Patients and Hospitals

1 in 25 hospital patients contract an infection while hospitalized. That’s over 721K patients a year. These infections cause thousands of preventable deaths every year. HAIs are dangerous and need to be taken seriously.

According to the CDC, these are the estimates of infections for acute care patients in 2011:

Pneumonia157,500
Gastrointestinal Illness123,100
Urinary Tract Infections93,300
Primary Bloodstream Infections71,900
Surgical site infections from any inpatient surgery157,500
Other types of infections118,500

These infections harm patients and waste valuable hospital resources. Those resources could be used to treat other patients who are in need. The CDC works tirelessly to raise awareness of the dangers of HAIs, and have made great strides. But if we want to eliminate the threat we all have to do our part.

HAI’s are Easily Preventable with Proper Hand Hygiene

Study, after study, after study has shown that proper hand hygiene is the most effective way for hospitals and other acute care facilities to prevent HAIs. Research about hand hygiene being effective at combating the spread of illness goes back to the mid 1800s. This isn’t exactly news. The solution may be simple, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. Implementing an effective hand hygiene action plan in your facility can be a difficult task to take on, and it can be just as hard to measure results.

A study done by GOJO (the company that brought you Purell) revealed that hand hygiene rates inflated up to 300% in the presence of an observer, then dropped back down to normal after the observer left. So the question is how can we ensure that the hand hygiene solutions we install have long term effects?

Use Electronic Monitoring Systems Like GOJO SMARTLINK™ for the Best Long-Term Results

Preventing HAIs is a serious challenge, especially when you’re trying to ensure long-term success for your facility. One of the first and most important steps in that process is having an appropriate monitoring system in place that will allow you to identify and correct bad and hygiene before it leads to an infection. That’s where our friends at GOJO come in.

The GOJO SMARTLINK™ electronic hand hygiene monitoring system is the best way for hospitals to accomplish the daunting task of tracking the hand hygiene habits of hundreds of employees. The SMARTLINK system has a 98% accuracy rate when used properly, letting you feel confident in the performance of your HAI prevention efforts.  Sensors embedded in soap and sanitizer dispensers wirelessly transmit this raw observation data to back-end software with customizable reporting capabilities.

Want to learn more about how PJP and GOJO can help you fight HAIs in your health care facility? Fill out this form to speak to a PJP consultant.

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Drew Gobrecht

Drew Gobrecht

Community Relations Manager

As a marketing professional working for Penn Jersey Paper, I pride myself in my ability to create quality, fresh, and relevant digital content consistently. As we all know, in today's internet-based marketing world, quality content is king. I strive to always be enhancing the customer experience here at PJP by writing of relevant blog posts, posting informative social media updates, and composing detailed product descriptions. As someone who relishes the opportunity to be creative in my job, I find that I thoroughly enjoy this work. I am excited for the opportunity to continue to grow in my marketing career and am excited for what the future holds.