Building Better Healthcare Awards

BBH Awards - Handwash compliance system wins award for Improving Patient Outcomes

Published: 8-Nov-2012

Veraz Green Badge technology helping with the battle against bugs

It is widely recognised that hand hygiene is one of the most important weapons in the battle against healthcare acquired infections.

However, compliance with the World Health Organization’s 5 Key Moments for Hand Hygiene is often low and only improves when local audit and feedback is in place. This is due partly to inadequate training or knowledge among staff and deep-rooted behavioural issues.

The Green Badge from Veraz, which scooped the award for Best Technology for Improving Patient Outcomes is a novel system that informs staff whether a hand wash is required, and the quality of the wash or gel used.

Unlike existing solutions, which only detect the presence of a healthcare worker in a particular ‘hotspot’, the Veraz Green Badge system makes decisions based on the detection of physical contact between a care worker and patients, or their immediate material environment.

It is a good example of what patients want to see, and that is clinical staff washing their hands

The system immediately informs the worker that they have made contact and that they need to conduct a hand wash, as well as notifying others through a visual colour indication on the badge. Green indicates the care worker has not had contact with an infected surface since the last time they conducted a compliant hand wash; yellow indicates they have touched an infected surface and are due a hand wash when they leave the contaminated zone; and red indicates that they have left the zone but have not yet conducted a hand wash.

The innovation was designed in conjunction with staff and patients at NHS trusts in the North of England and a clinical trial revealed it was widely accepted by staff, alleviated the need for physical observation audits, and improved hand hygiene compliance from 22% to 66% immediately after deployment.

The judges said: “This provides a simple and effective means of meeting World Health Organization handwashing guidance. The beauty of it is in peer and patient pressure driving change. It is a good example of what patients want to see, and that is clinical staff washing their hands. With this innovation patients learn really quickly if doctors and nurses have not washed their hands.”

WINNER: Green Badge hand hygiene system (Veraz)

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