Group of surgeons washing their hands at washbasin in hospital

New Jersey-based Atlantic Health System has been awarded the 2018 Hand Hygiene Excellence Award from DebMed for having the “cleanest hands in healthcare” due to its high level of sustained hand hygiene compliance.

“We are incredibly proud that our dedication to hand hygiene and patient safety has been recognized with a 2018 Hand Hygiene Excellence Award,” said Laura Anderson, MSN, RN, CIC, Director, Infection Prevention, Atlantic Health System. “We have worked hard over the past few years to deeply understand our hand hygiene habits, identify challenges to compliance, and implement solutions that help us ensure a clean and sanitary environment for our patients to heal.”  

With initial goals to decrease hospital-acquired infections and accurately measure hand hygiene compliance, Atlantic Health System introduced the DebMed Electronic Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring System in July 2015. The participating units were not only able to increase compliance by 46.2 percent, but also saw a strong connection between improvement in compliance and decreased infections. Due to the success of the pilot initiative, Atlantic Health System expanded use of the DebMed program to its six hospitals, achieving a sustained 57 percent improvement over baseline during a 12-month period.

“Atlantic Health System demonstrates what is possible when a hospital is committed to improving patient safety from the leaders down to the individual healthcare worker," said Ron Chappuis, VP of Marketing, DebMed. “We are proud to partner with them as they continue to achieve patient outcome improvements through WHO 5 moment compliance." 

“In giving out this award, we initially set out to acknowledge a single hospital with the best hand hygiene compliance, but Atlantic Health’s entire system is outperforming even the next best single hospital. This is the type of collaboration and collective success we know is possible with our healthcare partners to reduce HAIs. While many of our other hospitals challenged Atlantic Health for this award, there is no doubt their team has ‘The Cleanest Hands in Healthcare.’”