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DebMed Supports World Health Organization's Global "Save Lives: Clean Your Hands Day" on May 5

CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for healthcare staff and managers to focus on the importance of improving hand hygiene in hospitals on "Save Lives: Clean Your Hands Day," May 5, 2013. For this annual event, the WHO enlists the support of leading global suppliers of infection prevention solutions for hospitals to participate in spreading the hand hygiene message. Deb Group, the creator of the DebMed® Group Monitoring System™, an electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system, and member of the WHO Private Organization for Patient Safety (POPS), is among the supporters for this global campaign.

"This one-day event calls to attention something that is imperative 365 days a year – something we ardently pursue to help save lives – compliant hand hygiene in clinics and hospitals, which is as simple as effectively cleaning hands at the designated moments," said Heather McLarney, Vice President of Marketing, DebMed. "We want to empower both healthcare workers and patients and their families with the knowledge that can ultimately help them avoid healthcare-associated infections. The first step is to adopt the 'Clean Your Hands Day Pledge' which highlights the 'WHO Five Moments of Hand Hygiene.'"

Evaluation and repeated monitoring of practices, knowledge and perceptions are vital components of any successful hand hygiene campaign. The WHO is actively encouraging hospitals to learn more about innovative electronic systems for the automatic monitoring of hand hygiene compliance. According to the WHO, "These new technologies present numerous advantages and may become the future approach to hand hygiene compliance monitoring when available resources permit, and provided that they can reflect the Five Moments for Hand Hygiene." The DebMed GMS is the only electronic hand hygiene monitoring system designed around the WHO Five Moments of Hand Hygiene.

Access to WHO resources, including monitoring and feedback tools, self-assessment framework, action plan template and hand hygiene training films can be found on the Deb Group website. The May 5 Pledge, also available on the Deb Group website, includes a handout copy of the WHO Five Moments of Hand Hygiene for healthcare workers along with three important reminders to help maintain hand hygiene compliance.

As part of a major global effort to improve hand hygiene in healthcare, the "Save Lives: Clean Your Hands" campaign was launched in 2009 and is a natural extension of the WHO's "First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care ." Less than one percent of hospitals currently abide by the WHO's recommended guidelines, which suggest cleaning your hands before patient contact, before aseptic task, after body fluid exposure risk, after patient contact and after contact with patient surroundings.

Nearly 100,000 people die annually in the U.S. alone from HAIs, making them one of the leading causes of death after cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). At any time, more than 1.4 million patients worldwide are suffering from HAIs. Proper hand hygiene is the number one way to prevent HAIs. However, the WHO Guideline reported that after completing a systematic review of 77 peer-reviewed hand hygiene articles published between 1981 and 2008, the baseline hand hygiene compliance rate was only 38.7 percent.

The DebMed GMS electronically monitors healthcare workers' hand hygiene events and provides feedback on compliance rates in real-time, and provides an accurate, cost-effective solution for fighting HAIs. The DebMed GMS is based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene" and is now the only hand hygiene system that meets the WHO's recommendation.

To see an infographic on the importance of hand-washing in hospitals and learn more about DebMed, please visit

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) is the world's first group monitoring system to report hand hygiene compliance rates in real-time based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene" and to date has recorded more than 27 million hand hygiene events.  The electronic monitoring 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). It is the first study aimed at reducing healthcare-associated infections in pediatric long-term care facilities by improving staff compliance with hand hygiene guidelines. Deb is the first hand hygiene company in the world to provide actionable information along with its hand hygiene products to help drive best practices and improved outcomes for patients worldwide.

For more information on the study or DebMed, visit

About Deb Group
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 U.S. operations based in Charlotte, NC, Deb Group is comprised of 21 companies operating in 16 countries. For more information, visit

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