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Deb Group Introduces First Real-time Hand Hygiene Group Monitoring System Based on World Health Organization Guidelines

STANLEY, N.C., March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Deb Group today announced the availability of the DebMed®GMS™ (Group Monitoring System) - the world's first group monitoring system to report hand hygiene compliance rates in real-time. With this new innovation, hospitals can now immediately monitor compliance rates based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene." A stand-alone system, the DebMed®GMS™ can be installed in any hospital without the need for pre-existing real-time locating systems (RTLS) or radio-frequency identification (RFID).

Each year in the United States, 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are responsible for 99,000 fatalities, making it one of the leading causes of death behind cardiovascular disease and cancer. It is difficult to estimate the total economic burden of HAIs; however, it is believed to be as high as $45 billion each year. Increased pressure from payers and the government has now amplified the need for hospitals to find cost-effective and convenient tools to increase hand hygiene compliance and infection prevention.

The DebMed®GMS™ was first showcased to the infection prevention community in New Orleans in July 2010 at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Conference, after more than two years of development in collaboration with Greenville Hospital System in Greenville, S.C.

"Before the DebMed®GMS™, we relied on hospital staff observing and reporting on compliance rates," said Tom Diller, M.D., Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety at Greenville Hospital System (GHS). "Now that we have 24/7 access to reliable data based on the WHO 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene; our unit managers can share the data openly and frankly with staff on the unit and take immediate action to improve performance."

"Hand hygiene is a priority for us at GHS and this is the kind of breakthrough innovation we need to help us meet our goal of creating a true patient safety culture," Dr. Diller continued.

With the DebMed®GMS™, hospitals are now able identify the actual number of hand hygiene events that take place in each area of the hospital in real time. Using data from the recently published "Hospital Hand Hygiene Opportunities: Where and When (HOW2)? The HOW2 Benchmark Study", the system uses the expected number of hand hygiene opportunities to determine each unit and hospital's compliance rate.  The "HOW2 Benchmark Study" was published in the February 2011 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), was the first time that hand hygiene benchmarks were created based on the WHO's "Five Moments of Hand Hygiene." The "HOW2 Benchmark Study" received major funding from Deb Group.

"The aim of our study was to create, for the first time, a set of statistically significant benchmarks for various unit types in different hospital settings based on the WHO's "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene", not just before and after patient contact," said Elaine Larson, associate dean for research and professor of pharmaceutical and therapeutic research for Columbia University School of Nursing and one of the investigators of the "HOW2 Benchmark Study".  

"With this research, hospitals can now calculate reliable compliance rates when product utilization data are available," added Larson.

Using a combination of proprietary wireless technology built into its soap and sanitizer dispensers in conjunction with proprietary software that utilizes data from the "HOW2 Benchmark Study" in algorithms which calculate compliance rates, the DebMed®GMS™ provides hospitals with real-time access to compliance reports formatted as dashboards developed in collaboration with infection preventionists and infectious disease physicians. Meaningful dialogue among unit staff is thus enabled that fosters improved compliance behavior and patient safety.

"We have spent the past four years conducting research with global thought leaders and front line infection preventionists about how to best monitor and improve hand hygiene behavior in healthcare facilities.  As a result, we have developed The DebMed® Program, a holistic solution to a problem that has plagued the global healthcare community for 163 years since Semmelweis first proved the link between hand hygiene and reduced deaths." said Paul Alper, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Deb Worldwide Healthcare Inc.

"We believe that real and sustainable improvement comes from within which is why we based our system on group monitoring as opposed to individual tagging and tracking. With the DebMed® Program, we enable healthcare workers to have meaningful dialogue that drives individual accountability and responsibility for compliance," Alper continued.  

Hospitals within the United States can learn how to obtain the DebMed®GMS™,, by visiting to register for an informational webinar, or email

About Deb Group

Deb Group is a leading global away from home skin care company, providing innovative hand hygiene products, dispensing systems and tools to support hand hygiene compliance.  Possessing international scale and strong local market presence, Deb Group provides innovative skin care programs for all types of workplace and public environments, spanning industrial, commercial, healthcare and food sectors. Headquartered in the United Kingdom with its US operations based in Stanley, NC, Deb Group comprises 21 companies operating in 16 countries. For more information from Deb Group, visit

SOURCE Deb Group
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