Not many people know that healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. The CDC estimates more than two million people get an infection in a hospital each year, and more than 100,000 of those die. These deaths are largely preventable given proper hand hygiene, and although this is well known, hand hygiene compliance in hospitals hovers around 50%. This means that half the time, well-intentioned and caring health care workers fail to properly sanitize their hands because they are too busy, improperly educated or just forgetful.
BIOVIGIL has developed a new technology that solves this age-old problem: a little badge worn by healthcare workers that performs several critical functions using innovative and proprietary technology:
- Hand Hygiene Validation: Using proprietary chemical sniffing sensors, the BIOVIGIL badge can determine whether or not proper hand hygiene has been performed.
- Reminder and Reassurance Functionality: The BIOVIGIL badge reminds everyone in the room— the healthcare worker, the patient, and the patient’s family—that hand hygiene needs to occur by flashing a yellow light. The light turns green after hand hygiene is performed to reassure those same people that hand hygiene has been completed properly. BIOVIGIL’s ability to both remind and reassure has been critical to its success in clinical settings. BIOVIGIL customers average hand hygiene compliance over 97 percent.
- Recording and Reporting Functionality: It’s difficult to manage or improve a metric if you don’t know where you stand now. The BIOVIGIL badge records hand hygiene opportunities and compliance so that hospital management can identify and improve problem areas, reward excellence and track performance.
All hospitals struggle with hand hygiene compliance, and very few have automated systems in place, so the market potential for BIOVIGIL is enormous. Consumer opinion and healthcare reform have also been increasingly driving hospitals to get this figured out: it is already the case that hospitals are not reimbursed by Medicaid for hospital-acquired infections, and 2015 is the first year where they will be actively penalized for poor performance in this area. Hospital leadership is motivated on all fronts to solve the hand hygiene problem, and BIOVIGIL is uniquely positioned with a unique and effective solution to that problem.
To learn more about BIOVIGIL, visit our website at www.biovigilsystems.com and download some of our free white papers about how we get hand hygiene compliance to 97 percent and how we reduce C. diff infections.
This guest post was contributed by Kevin Wittrup, General Manager BIOVIGIL Healthcare Systems. BIOVIGIL is one of 32 companies that will present at the 34th Michigan Growth Capital Symposium next week. Register to attend here, and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #MGCS2015.