Wireless hygiene system crosses 4 million uses

By Chris Gullo
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nGageProventix's ZigBee-powered, RFID-enabled nGage hand hygiene system has recorded over 4 million hand cleanings in the United States since its release, according to the company. Hospitals using the system had an average 105.6 percent increase in hand hygiene solution dispenses and a decrease in healthcare associated infections (HAI) by more than 24 percent.

The Proventix nGage system monitors hand hygiene compliance 24 hours a day, 7 days week, according to the company. Here's how it works: Healthcare workers wear ZigBee-enabled badges that are uniquely recognized by control units at soap dispensers throughout the hospital. When the worker enters a room or area where there is a wall-mounted control unit, they are recognized and, upon the completion of a quality hand hygiene event, they can be given important, patient-specific information like whether they are at-risk for a fall as well as information that may be of personal interest to that particular provide, like stock market reports or baseball scores.

Last year, machine-to-machine wireless vendor Synapse Wireless added wireless connectivity to the nGage system.

Hygiene compliance is an increasing concern with the rising use of smartphones in hospitals -- according to at least one study, mobile phones can carry 18 times more bacteria than a public toilet.

An nGage competitor that uses a video monitoring system, raised hygiene compliance rates from 6.5 percent three years ago to 80 percent in a New York hospital is the subject of a recent New York Times article.

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Read the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE -- Proventix Systems, Inc., today announced its nGage™ system has become the most widely adopted healthcare hand hygiene monitoring system in the United States. The nGage system has recorded over 4 million total hand cleansings.

Hospitals have experienced an average 105.6% increase in hand hygiene solution dispenses since implementation of the Proventix monitoring system. This improvement in hand hygiene activity has contributed to an average healthcare associated infection (HAI) reduction of over 24% across all Proventix monitored units.

Proventix's growth demonstrates acceleration in the application of low cost Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices for quality based monitoring solutions. Proventix provides active and passive RFID devices and services for quality compliance monitoring and active point of care communication for successful integration into operations.

"The rapid spread of the Proventix nGage system across the nation demonstrates that quantifiable methods of improving quality outcomes are a focus in healthcare," said Harvey Nix, Proventix Chief Executive Officer. "We are quickly developing and exploring nGage's capabilities to monitor other quality events and create healthcare operational efficiencies. Once we start working with hospitals, we dream together about additional uses to reduce costs and improve quality."

"We achieve rapid infection prevention buy-in with the hand hygiene component, but when we demonstrate the system's flexibility to meet a variety of quality monitoring capabilities, nursing and quality managers quickly recognize the value as well. Information Technology gets excited because the system's open architecture philosophy meets so many of their challenges," said David Sellers, R.N., Proventix Vice President of Quality Services. "Evidence of quality will be key for hospitals to be fully compensated for care performed. Providing this evidence manually is a time-consuming, burdensome task that is automated using Proventix's RFID monitoring devices. nGage streamlines clinician workflow so caregivers can focus on the business of improving patient care and outcomes."

Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala. was the first hospital in the country to adopt a pilot project using nGage that resulted in a 22% reduction in HAIs and selection as one of two national HIMSS/ASQ Stories of Success. David Collins, the HIMSS director of healthcare information systems, called the intervention and the results achieved with nGage a 'national model.' "This [story] really rose to the top... It was really something others can learn from and possibly emulate for their hospital because it's a simple thing but it's effective."

The University of Chicago Medical Center and the University of Maryland Medical Center studied the impact of the nGage system on their deliveries of health care. Both institutions have been sharing results and spoke both at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the Georgia Infection Prevention Network's 30th Annual Education Conference. The study found that the nGage system was 100% accurate in detecting entries into and exits out of room and was 97% accurate when detecting dispenses.

Healthcare regulatory agencies identify hand hygiene as the single most important way to reduce infection risk, but high levels of sustained hand hygiene compliance have remained elusive in healthcare facilities world-wide. The nGage system monitors hand hygiene compliance 24 hours a day, 7 days week. When an healthcare worker enters a room, they are recognized and, upon the completion of a quality hand hygiene event, they are given important, patient-specific information such as patient risk for a fall, general employee information, or even employee-specific information such as stock market reports or sports scores. The messaging rewards and incentivizes healthcare workers at the point of care, improves workflow and creates opportunities for efficiencies while enhancing patient safety and care quality.

"The opportunity exists to improve delivery of care through collaboration among healthcare workers and standardized processes," Nix said. "Unfortunately, quality initiatives have been difficult to replicate consistently in healthcare because of culture and management differences. nGage has seized this opportunity by utilizing wireless technology to monitor, improve and transform healthcare. By providing consistency of monitoring and unique real-time feedback, a culture of quality can be created through the nGage system."

About Proventix Systems, Inc.

Proventix Systems, Inc., based in Birmingham, Alabama, is a RFID company whose mission is to eliminate the human and economic costs of infectious disease in the healthcare industry. They provide tools and services for quality compliance monitoring with time-saving functionality to help healthcare workers improve workflow and increase efficiency in order to deliver quality patient care. Visit: www.proventix.com.

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