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Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFIT) to Decrease Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)
Maria Madajka, PhD, Karolina Mlynek, MD, Brianna Halasa, BS, Frank Papay, MD.
Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.

PURPOSE: Every year in the United States, one out of every 20 patients, or 1.7 million people admitted into hospitals, catch an HAI. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predict that about 100,000 patients will die from preventable infections. The cost of HAI care totals to $20,450, thus contributing to the rising cost of healthcare. Such consequences can easily be prevented with frequent hand sanitation by hospital workers. The goal was to achieve a reduction of HAIs by 20% or greater using an automated hand-hygiene monitoring system (RFID) at Cleveland Clinic.
METHODS: RFID technology uses a system where hand sanitation can be monitored without interruption to the caregiver. Each caregiver wore a RFID tag, which functioned as a small radio transmitter that announced the caregiver’s presence to the communication unit (CU) located above each soap and hand sanitizer dispenser. The data collected by the CU was wirelessly transferred to a central server and analyzed.
RESULTS: RFID has recorded over 4 million total hand cleanings, and hospitals have experienced an average 105.6% increase in hand hygiene-solution dispenses since they system startup. RFID brought about a 24% average HAI decrease in the first ten facilities where the sensors were implemented.
CONCLUSION: This improvement in hand hygiene activity has contributed to an average HAI reduction. With more hospital implementations, highly preventable HAIs can dramatically decrease in number and reduce the cost of HAI treatment.


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