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Manila Hospital Slashes Infection Rate

The Medical City has seen a 48 percent reduction in infections in one year since installing an RTLS-based hand-washing compliance system.
By Claire Swedberg

With the Excelion system in place, each staff member is provided with a CenTrak Gen2IR Staff Badge. CenTrak monitors were installed at hand-sanitization stations. The badge receives the monitor’s signal, which, in essence, informs the badge that the person wearing it is within the vicinity of a particular sink or sanitization station. The badge then transmits its own ID, along with that of the monitor, to an RFID reader cabled to the back-end system. CenTrak software interprets location data and based on that signal, forwards the badge's ID and location to the Accreditrack software on the hospital's server, which stores information regarding users and when they washed their hands.

However, the system also needed to track where staff members went before and after washing their hands, particularly when it came to patients. Therefore, in addition to monitors at hand-washing or sanitization stations, the hospital has also installed Virtual Wall monitors and RFID readers in other areas near or within the ICU. The VW monitors emit an IR signal that covers an area around a bed or other location. The VW monitors can transmit a signal across a narrowly defined area, in order to cover a location such as a patient's bed. When a staff member comes within range of a VW monitor's signal, that individual's CenTrak tag transmits the VW's ID number and its own ID to the RFID interrogators, and the software then stores data indicating that the staff member is visiting a particular patient. If that individual was not detected at a hand-washing station, the software could send an alert to management indicting that he or she had failed to use proper hand-washing protocol.

In addition to deploying the CenTrak emitters throughout the entire ICU, Excelion installed monitors at sanitizer dispensers within the ACSU, along with VW monitors and RFID readers. Thanks to the system's deployment, ICU and ACSU managers can now contact staff members who have not been washing or sanitizing their hands as required by hospital protocol. What's more, individuals can monitor their own compliance by logging into the software and viewing their personal history.

Since TMC installed the system, its rate of hospital-acquired infections has dropped by 48 percent, Cruz reports. The hospital did not respond to questions about the system.

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