Studies Show Effective Communication is Key to Hand Hygiene Compliance, Reducing Infections in Healthcare Environments

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Design Manage Deliver uses technology-driven communications platform to help reduce healthcare acquired infections (HAIs)

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Healthcare Infection Prevention leaders are in desperate need of a solution that delivers access to sustainable, branded communications in order to make hand hygiene compliance a reality system-wide.

Research shows that 70 percent hand hygiene compliance is needed to reduce the spread of infections, and recent studies by The Joint Commission and Johns Hopkins University confirm that sustained, effective communication is key to increasing hand hygiene compliance in healthcare environments.

In a multi-hospital study on increasing hand hygiene compliance, The Joint Commission reported that “awareness communications need to be changed periodically to continue to be effective.”

“Healthcare Infection Prevention leaders are in desperate need of a solution that delivers access to sustainable, branded communications in order to make hand hygiene compliance a reality system-wide,” said Natalie Rose-Miller, a 20-year veteran of Sodexo Healthcare and co-founder of Design Manage Deliver (DMD), a technology-driven platform that delivers easy-to-use, cost-effective communications to promote infection prevention.

With concerns over the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, fatal flu seasons, and infectious diseases poised for a deadly comeback, communication around proper hand hygiene is a major challenge because of the burden on the internal healthcare marketing departments to sustain and deliver demographic-specific communications for infection prevention in support of population health management.

“Hospital staff fall near 40 percent while visitors and patients are less than 15 percent. These numbers result in over 700,000 infections and 75,000 deaths each year because of HAIs, along with annual costs of up to $147 billion including over $3 billion in hospital re-admissions, which are mostly avoidable,” added Rose-Miller.

The Johns Hopkins University study concluded a multi-modal approach that includes multi-media communications, education, leadership engagement, performance measurement, along with regular feedback and observation can increase compliance to over 70 percent, when measured by an independent audit. Most importantly, it will help sustain increased compliance levels.

A technology-based platform, DMD is a portal that provides quick, customized access to fresh messaging and material to increase awareness of the critical need for hand hygiene and all infection prevention issues among clinical and non-clinical staff, visitors, patients and residents in hospitals, rehab/LTC, surgical and urgent care centers, primary care doctors and even in schools.

DMD co-founder Tom Cancelmo said, “Hospitals and senior communities need to think differently about creating infection prevention awareness and behavior change for everyone. DMD understands that healthcare marketing departments are in need of a resource that protects their brand and supports their infection prevention teams do their jobs to deliver sustainable messaging year-round to save lives.”

Most hospitals have the “multi-modal approach” in place with the exception of the sustainable communications piece. “When done correctly, this is the piece that pulls the whole process together,” added Rose-Miller. “In a hospital or long-term care community, consider that the average patient has five visits from three different people each hour; staff might need to clean their hands 100 times in a 12-hour shift. You have to constantly remind them to be effective.”

“There is clearly an industry need, and Design Manage Deliver can save healthcare facilities time and money, while increasing awareness of an important topic,” concluded Cancelmo. “You are communicating potentially life-saving messages to everyone, everywhere; that’s the power of DMD’s portal.”

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Chris Murray
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