PITTSBURGH — Allegheny Health Network is rolling out a new electronic monitor across its system that helps staff verify they’ve used strong handwashing and hand-sanitizing skills in and out of a patient’s room.
Since 2019, AHN has piloted the system, developed by Ecolab at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. It uses technology to verify that hospital staff are taking the foundational steps needed to eliminate hospital-acquired infections. Hospital-acquired infections can be a major issue in health care, where patients pick up an infection that can be dangerous or deadly to the patient and costly to treat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 4% of all hospitalized patients have received a hospital-acquired infection, and it costs nearly 1 million patients their lives and $1 billion in total cost to the nation’s health care system.
It’s something that hospitals have been working to prevent. The Ecolab pilot has been one of the ways AHN has been tackling the issue, first at AGH and soon across all of its acute-care hospitals, by adding electronic monitoring to the age-old handwashing routine.