SC Johnson Professional’s DebMed Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring System Enables Significant Improvements in Hand Hygiene

hand hygiene monitoring

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), such as methicillin resistant staphyloccus aureus (MRSA), can plague hospitals with increased morbidty rates and higher costs for healthcare facilities.[1]. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least one in every 31 patients experiences a HAI on any given day[2]. A new two-year study, “Introduction of Group Electronic Monitoring of Hand Hygiene on Inpatient Units: A Multicenter Cluster Randomized Quality Improvement,” found that the use of SC Johnson Professional’s DebMed Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring System contributed to significant improvements in hand hygiene adherence[3].

The study was conducted at three university academic hospitals – Sunnybrook Health Sciences, Sinai Health System, and St Michael’s Hospital, and two community academic hospitals – Michael Garron Hospital and Lakeridge Health. The researchers found a 26% decrease in healthcare-associated transmission of MRSA, in addition to a relative increase in hand hygiene compliance by 82.7% with the use of a comprehensive hand hygiene strategy that included SC Johnson Professional’s DebMed Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring System.

Performed on 26 acute care inpatient medical and surgical units, the study involved daily hand hygiene reporting from the DebMed System. The reports guided and evaluated unit-led improvement strategies, and tracked daily, weekly and monthly adherence percentages.

The DebMed Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring System is the only clinical, research-based and badge-free system that captures all hand hygiene events. Actionable, easy-to-read automated reports provide insights into areas for improvement and enable healthcare teams to lead daily hand hygiene discussions in seconds. The study proves that system data, coupled with leadership and staff engagement; frequent unit-led interventions and hand hygiene huddles; training and education; and visual reminders makes lasting hand hygiene cultural changes achievable.

The DebMed System provides healthcare facilities with a trusted method of monitoring hand hygiene during direct patient care. To accomplish this, the stand-alone system uses monitoring-enabled point-of-care and wall mount dispensers to register events and measure compliance with the World Health Organization’s My 5-Moments for Hand Hygiene, Public Health Ontario 4-Moments and CDC hand hygiene guidelines.

By using the DebMed System, hospitals can continue to develop strategies for compliance improvement through:

  • Using the performance data to generate collaboration among the healthcare team
  • Inform and measure the success of interventions with real-time compliance scores
  • Analyze soap and sanitizer usage at the room level
  • Support isolation protocol compliance
  • Ensure that hand hygiene is occurring as expected, especially during facility-level outbreaks and
  • Report on hand hygiene progress to facility leadership teams.

With hand hygiene playing such an essential role in preventing the spread of germs, it’s important to implement a hand hygiene program that develops a strong culture of compliance to improve the overall quality of patient care..


[1] Albert Marchetti & Richard Rossiter (2013) Economic burden of healthcare-associated infection in US acute care hospitals: societal perspective, Journal of Medical Economics, 16:12, 1399-1404, DOI: 10.3111/13696998.2013.842922

[3] Leis JA, Powis JE, McGeer A, et al. Introduction of Group Electronic Monitoring of Hand Hygiene on Inpatient Units: A Multicenter Cluster Randomized Quality Improvement Study [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 9]. Clin Infect Dis. 2020;ciaa412. doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa412