Atlantic Health System Selects DebMed® to Enhance Hand Hygiene Compliance

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Health system becomes first in the state to install electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring to aid in reducing healthcare-associated infections.

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“Electronic compliance monitoring of hand hygiene is a true advantage for our patients, and is another example of how Atlantic Health System is taking the lead in infection prevention." - Jan Schwarz- Miller, MD.

Atlantic Health System, one of the largest non-profit health care organizations in New Jersey, has selected the award-winning DebMed GMS™ (Group Monitoring System) to help prevent hospital acquired infections (HAIs) by increasing hand hygiene compliance. Atlantic Health System began implementing the new electronic hand hygiene monitoring technology in early June and throughout all five of the health system’s hospitals – Morristown, Overlook, Newton and Chilton Medical Centers, and Goryeb Children’s Hospital.

“Electronic compliance monitoring of hand hygiene is a true advantage for our patients, and is another example of how Atlantic Health System is taking the lead in infection prevention,” said Jan Schwarz- Miller, MD, chief medical officer, Atlantic Health System. “We will be measuring staff hand hygiene compliance against a higher standard of care and will be well on our way to preventing healthcare-associated infections.”

The DebMed GMS is proven to increase hand hygiene compliance, with some hospital customers improving by as much as 40 percent. It is the only hand hygiene compliance monitoring system to provide feedback to hospitals on hand hygiene compliance rates based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Five Moments for Hand Hygiene method. The Five Moments are a higher clinical standard than the common practice of healthcare staff cleaning their hands only upon entering and exiting a patient room.

While the current manual method of measuring staff compliance with hand hygiene guidelines, known as direct observation, has been shown to report compliance rates that are overinflated by as much as 300 percent due to inherent flaws in the approach, the accuracy of the DebMed GMS reporting has been validated in published research. Over one week, the automated system captures more hand hygiene compliance data from one unit alone than is typically reported for an entire hospital over the course of a year, providing hospitals with significantly more comprehensive data.

The decision to install the DebMed GMS at Atlantic Health System was supported by clinical and executive staff, including the chief nursing officers, chief medical officers, and senior quality and safety staff. Using technologically-advanced tools and following the best practices for clinical hand hygiene to ensure patient safety supports the health system’s vision statement, “Empowering our communities to be the healthiest in the nation.” To that end, the ability of the DebMed GMS to empower all nursing and clinical staff to bring about a change in hand hygiene behavior was instrumental in the selection process. The technology emphasizes improvement of hand hygiene performance as a unit, promoting teamwork and compliance at the group level.

“Proper hand hygiene remains the simplest and most effective step to protect patients from healthcare-associated infections, and Atlantic Health has made a commitment to hand hygiene that will help it increase compliance, decrease infections, and reduce readmissions,” said Didier Bouton, president, DebMed. “Knowing that there is complete organizational focus on decreasing healthcare-associated infections and that, from the board to hospital leaders to nurses at the bedside, everyone is committed to leveraging data from the DebMed GMS system to improve hand hygiene compliance, it’s sure to be a success.”

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About DebMed®
DebMed is the healthcare program of the Deb Group. The DebMed program offers innovative hand hygiene products, electronic monitoring technology, and improvement tools to support hand hygiene compliance. The DebMed® GMS™ (Group Monitoring System), winner of the 2013 Frost & Sullivan Hand Hygiene Solutions New Product Innovation Award, is the world’s first group monitoring system to report hand hygiene compliance rates based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “Five Moments for Hand Hygiene” and to date has recorded more than 80 million hand hygiene events. The system is being utilized in a four year, multi-site research project being conducted by the Columbia University School of Nursing and funded by a $1.2 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). For more information, visit

About Atlantic Health System
Atlantic Health System, headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey, is one of the largest non-profit healthcare systems in New Jersey. It includes Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ; Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ; Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ; Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ; and Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, as well as Atlantic Rehabilitation, and Atlantic Home Care and Hospice. It also includes its subsidiary, Atlantic Ambulance Corporation. Atlantic Health System comprises 1,599 licensed beds, more than 14,000 employees and more than 4,000 physicians. Atlantic Health System has a medical school affiliation with the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University ; a Major Clinical Affiliate of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; part of Atlantic Accountable Care Organization, one of the largest ACOs in the nation, and is a member of AllSpire Health Partners.
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Rob Seman, Public Relations Manager, Atlantic Health System

Yuliya Kutuzava
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