Medline and Intelligent Observation Partner on Automated Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring

Collaboration aims to improve healthcare worker compliance, mitigate infection rates with innovative technology

January 27, 2021

Medline and Intelligent Observation (IO) today announced an exclusive collaboration to help healthcare providers control healthcare-associated infection rates (HAIs). Medline will sell the company’s IntelObserve® electronic hand hygiene monitoring system, the only e-monitoring solution that uses near-field magnetic induction (NFMI), plus a proprietary form of Artificial Intelligence (AI), to accurately capture hand hygiene opportunities and compliance events, and push actionable data to leaders and real-time alerts to front line workers.

Monitoring efforts are usually recorded through visual observation of behavior with a clipboard or tablet, but studies have shown that this method can overstate compliance by up to 300%. This gives healthcare organizations a false sense of security amongst their staff and leadership, endangering patients by not dealing with low hand hygiene rates.

“We are so excited to be working with Medline, a leading healthcare distributor in the U.S. The company’s breadth of industry knowledge and customer relationships across the continuum of care makes them an extremely valuable partner to expand IntelObserve’s reach,” said Seth Freedman, IO CEO. “Our organizations share a passionate commitment to patient safety, are focused on eliminating avoidable harm, and have a mutual goal of helping facilities finally get hand hygiene right.”

Many of the hand hygiene compliance monitoring platforms available on the market use radio-frequency identification (RFID), which can help automate the process, but can be expensive, inaccurate and complex to implement. IntelObserve® is the only system that uses NFMI to capture both hand hygiene opportunities and hand hygiene compliance events with precise accuracy. NFMI is the same technology used in automobile key fobs to determine proximity to the car and enables remote unlocking of doors and keyless ignition systems.

Using NFMI’s centimeter-level proximity detection capability, IntelObserve® captures compliance data and pushes it to the cloud through sensors placed near doors, beds and hand hygiene dispensers of patient rooms. It is also the only system that monitors either standard for hand hygiene, including “In and Out” or bed proximity detection, which is an accurate proxy for the World Health Organization’s 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene. If a healthcare worker does not use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash their hands with soap and water when an opportunity is detected, a smart badge holder on the healthcare worker can send them an alert, reminding them to perform hand hygiene. The solution’s dashboards are accessed via the web and can also provide data on hand hygiene at the individual worker, room, unit/ward or facility-wide level.

Additionally, no integration with a hospital’s Wi-Fi or network is needed and IntelObserve® works with any brand of soap and/or hand sanitizer, so no switch out of hand hygiene products is required.

“Access to accurate, reliable data enables timely feedback to staff which is essential to drive higher compliance and help reduce the risk of infections, especially with new evolving pathogens,” said Paul Alper, Medline vice president of patient safety innovation and inventor of earlier generation monitoring systems. “Until IntelObserve®, there wasn’t a highly accurate and affordable e-monitoring solution designed to increase compliance and help protect patients and staff from avoidable harm.”

Enhancing healthcare worker contract tracing

Healthcare organizations are also paying closer attention to healthcare worker interactions with infected patients.

“The system will automatically record dates and times of a healthcare worker visiting different patient rooms so a report can be easily accessed for contact tracing,” Freedman added.

More than two dozen hospitals across the country are now using the IntelObserve® system since its launch in December 2019 and now, with Medline providing nationwide awareness and availability, that number is expected to grow rapidly.

Learn more about IO at IntelObserve® Information.

About Medline

Medline is a healthcare company: a manufacturer, distributor and solutions provider focused on improving the overall operating performance of healthcare. Medline works with both the country’s largest healthcare systems and independent facilities across the continuum of care to provide the clinical and supply chain resources required for long-term financial viability in delivering high quality care. With the size of one of the country’s largest companies and the agility of a family-owned business, Medline is able to invest in its customers for the long-term and rapidly respond with customized solutions. Headquartered in Northfield, Ill., Medline has 27,000+ employees worldwide, a fleet of more than 1,000 trucks and does business in more than 90 countries. Learn more about Medline at www.medline.com.

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