IntelligentM has contracted with multiple hospitals for the use of its unique IntelligentM Smartband System, which combats improper hand hygiene that results in tens of thousands of annual deaths and billions of dollars in unnecessary costs to the U.S. hospital system.
The current hand hygiene compliance rate for U.S. hospitals is about 40 percent, providing significant room for improvement and the basis of IntelligentM’s business model (1). In a typical hospital the company’s Smartbands, worn by healthcare workers that have direct contact with patients, interact with RFID and Bluetooth tags on sanitizer dispensers, soap dispensers, and on equipment and products, such as IV and catheter packaging.
The IntelligentM System is able to provide on-the-spot notification of non-compliant hand hygiene events for both “how” healthcare workers perform hand washing and sanitizing, as well as “when” they should be washing/sanitizing. This includes the ability to tie hand hygiene compliance to specific infection types, like central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) – two of the most common and most costly infections for hospitals. The Smartbands vibrate once for a compliant hand washing/sanitizing and three times for a non-compliant event.
“Infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA, which are difficult to treat, are often transmitted by the contaminated hands of healthcare providers who have touched a colonized patient or something in the patient's environment,” said Leah Frederick, MS, RN, CIC and owner of Infection Prevention Consultants, LLC. “Caregivers who leave the bedsides of such patients without performing correct hand hygiene may carry thousands or even hundreds of thousands of colony-forming units of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on their hands.”
In addition to the human cost of infections in death and suffering, the monetary cost is devastating the U.S. healthcare system, increasing the average stay for a patient that acquires one of these infections by 17 days and costing billions of dollars (2). IntelligentM’s system is cost-effective, with the total annual break even amount for a hospital to install and operate it equal to the cost of about one MRSA infection case or three CLABSI cases per year. A typical hospital realizes dozens of CLABSI cases per year. The system is simple for IntelligentM to install, as it does not connect to the hospital’s IT system nor need to leverage a WiFi network to operate.
“Much of the public doesn’t realize that acquiring infections from improper staff hand hygiene in hospitals is a very prevalent and serious issue,” said Seth Freedman, president, IntelligentM. “We are the first company to provide a system that immediately alerts hospital staff when they are not properly washing their hands, enabling on-the-spot correction, and does so based on the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization hygiene specifications for the task being performed. It also gives hospitals a tremendous amount of segmented data on hand hygiene performance critical to further the reduction of infection rates.”
“Healthcare worker hand hygiene is a critical issue for hospitals nationwide,” said Michele Barr, RN, BSN, CIC with CIP Consulting, LLC. “Healthcare institutions must continue to make progress in their infection prevention processes to prevent adverse patient outcomes.”
In addition to the U.S. market, IntelligentM is certified for sale in the European Union, Australia and the Far East, and expects to enter these markets soon. The company’s technology also has applications beyond the health sector, such as in food service.
1) McGuckin M, Waterman R, Govednik J., American Journal of Medical Quality, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19332864
2) Deoine Reed, PhD and Sandra A. Kemmerly, MD., The Ochsner Journal, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096239/