/PRNewswire/ -- DebMed@, creator of the world's first electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system based on the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Five Moments for Hand Hygiene, today announced that Texas Institute for Surgery (TIS) at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas is the first healthcare organization in Texas and the first surgical facility in the U.S. to implement a new electronic hand hygiene monitoring technology with the goal of reducing healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs). The DebMed@ GMST (Group Monitoring System) was installed this month to increase hand hygiene compliance and thus increase patient safety.

"We are pleased to be at the forefront of providing a state-of-the-art infection control solution for the benefit of our patients," said Joy Dier, R.N., BSN, MS, Vice President of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer, TIS. "The DebMed GMS will not only help us to improve hand hygiene compliance at our facility, but it also enables us to set the standard for best practice in improving hand hygiene in surgical facilities across the country."

Healthcare-acquired infections are responsible for 99,000 deaths per year and result in $35.7 to $45 billion annually in healthcare costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A study conducted at Duke University Medical Center and published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology showed that minor improvements in hand hygiene compliance lead to substantial savings.

"Staff will be working closely with DebMed to establish benchmark data that can then be used by any surgical center to aid in calculating their specific staff compliance rates by having a better understanding of the total amount of hand hygiene opportunities, versus the number of times the system was used," said Allison Liddell, M.D., Chief of the Department of Infection Diseases at Texas Health Resources Presbyterian Dallas.

"The implementation of the DebMed GMS at Texas Institute for Surgery is a clear demonstration of their commitment to patient safety and to lead the change to provide the best patient environment," said Didier Bouton, president of DebMed. "We look forward to continuing our relationship with them and working closely together to generate industry benchmark data that will ultimately help every surgery facility in the U.S. to effectively measure their compliance and make positive strides to achieving the ultimate goal of 100 percent hand hygiene compliance."

Currently, the majority of U.S. healthcare facilities only monitor two moments of hand hygiene in the care process; upon entering the patient room and when leaving. The DebMed GMS electronically monitors all five moments of hand hygiene as established by the WHO, which are:

-- Before patient contact -- Before antiseptic task -- After body fluid exposure -- After patient contact -- After contact with patient's surroundings.

Additionally, by measuring hand hygiene electronically, the DebMed GMS also eliminates the need for the antiquated method of direct observation, a currently accepted practice requiring a staff member to physically monitor and report on clinician hand hygiene. Not only is the DebMed GMS electronic and more accurate, but it encourages higher compliance by monitoring groups instead of individuals. Group monitoring is recognized by infection preventionists as being more effective than other monitoring systems that track individuals' actions and can be seen by staff as punitive or as an invasion of privacy. The DebMed GMS also goes beyond electronic monitoring to provide supporting tools such as staff meeting facilitation guides and visual reminders to help enable positive behavior change, ultimately creating a safer environment for the patient.