New hand-washing compliance system at SickKids

DebMedTORONTO – DebMed, creator of an electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system based on hand hygiene standards recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), announced Canada’s first installation of the system at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), in Toronto.

According to The Canadian Patient Safety Institute, about 220,000 people – or one out of every nine patients admitted to the hospital each year in Canada – acquire infections while being treated for something else, and 8,000–12,000 patients die from those infections. The number one way to reduce the spread of infections is by healthcare workers complying with guidelines for cleaning their hands.

“SickKids is committed to being a leader in quality through continuous improvement and optimizing patient safety. Experts agree that a multifaceted, multidisciplinary hand hygiene program must be implemented in all healthcare settings. Measurement, feedback and staff engagement are among the core elements of a multifaceted approach,” said Richard Wray, Director of Quality, Safety, Infection Control at SickKids.

“The data from the DebMed GMS hand hygiene monitoring system will be a useful tool to help improve hand hygiene compliance and help reduce infection rates.”

The DebMed GMS electronically tracks if healthcare workers are cleaning their hands as frequently as they should and provides timely reports that encourage the staff to work together as a team to help improve hand hygiene compliance.

The system is customized to each hospital unit based on the number of patients and frequency of care. It is the only system available in Canada that electronically tracks staff hand hygiene compliance based on the “Four Moments for Hand Hygiene” standard, which advocates opportunities for hand cleaning such as before starting an IV or after risk of exposure to body fluids, instead of just upon entrance and exit of the patient room.

“Hand hygiene is a growing imperative for hospitals to meet their patient safety goals, and we applaud SickKids for taking the lead and becoming the first pediatric hospital in North America to install the DebMed GMS,” said Heather McLarney, vice president of marketing, DebMed, North America.

“SickKids is committed to reducing the number of hospital-acquired infections and improving staff hand hygiene compliance through innovative electronic monitoring of hand hygiene based on the “Four Moments for Hand Hygiene” standard.”

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), winner of the 2013 Frost & Sullivan Hand Hygiene Solutions New Product Innovation Award, is the world’s first group monitoring system to report hand hygiene compliance rates based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) hand hygiene guidelines and to date has recorded more than 65 million hand hygiene events. The 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). For more information, 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 US operations based in Charlotte, N.C., Deb Group is comprised of 22 companies operating in 18 countries. For more information, visit

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