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M2M Keeps Hand Hygiene Compliance in Hospitals Up

Posted by Norman Miglietta on 05/01/2013

"Germs are not visible now. They will become visible through information."

The New Yorker published an article a few weeks ago on the rise of Purell… little did I know that it would end up being a story about M2M. M2M continues to play a larger role in the healthcare industry and this is yet another example of how the technology is impacting the day-to-day operations of hospitals around the World.

The piece focuses on the creation and upbringing of Purell, a now household name product that was created by mom and pop company, Gojo. However, towards the end of the article, author David Owen dives into the use of Purell stations in hospitals to monitor hand hygiene compliance and our M2M radar went off.

Hospitals need to be the cleanest places on earth with the cleanliest and most hygienic staff. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Owen states that hand hygiene compliance rates, meaning the number of times a healthcare provider washes/sanitizes their hands before and after seeing a patient, is staggeringly low – as low as 20% of the time in some cases. Seeing these numbers has scared healthcare leaders into finding ways to ensure that their staff is complying with hospital hand washing policies.

In most hospital rooms today there is a Purell dispenser that has been outfitted with a small chip that communicates with the RFID chip in an employee’s hospital badge. This process enables hospitals to track whether employees are washing their hands before AND after seeing a patient – sounds like M2M to me. This data is then readily available through a dashboard to show a hospital CEO who is complying with hand hygiene policies and who isn’t. It also allows hospitals to set benchmarks and goals when trying to increase overall hand hygiene compliance. But most importantly, if there is ever a large scale contamination event, the hospital has data that may be analyzed to determine whether or not hand sanitation could have been a contributing factor. In other words, making germs visible through information.

While this monitoring of hand hygiene has an element of ‘big brother’, its sole purpose is to increase patient safety and quality of care. M2M is being more broadly adopted across the healthcare industry and becoming an integral part in the operations of hospitals, only fueling the future of the Internet-of-Things.

By Stein Soelberg, Director of Marketing

Stein leads a team whose responsibility is to own the branding, advertising, customer engagement, loyalty, partnership and public relations initiatives designed to propel KORE into the 21st century. With over 15 years of technology marketing experience in the business to business software, Internet services and telecommunications industries, Stein brings a proven track record of launching successful MVNOs and building those brands into leaders.

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