Putting Power into Healthcare

nGage offers active messaging through the communication unit at the point of care.

The Putting Power Into Healthcare Initiativesm (PPHI) is an employer-funded partnership with Alabama Power, Proventix and participating Alabama hospitals. The mission is to help eliminate the human and economic costs of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and to create systems of high-quality monitoring and communications that create operational efficiencies for healthcare workers and systems.

Proventix believes communities should work together to find ways to improve healthcare quality and costs. Alabama Power shares this belief and partnered with Proventix to provide partial funding for 27 Alabama hospitals to install and validate the efficacy of the nGage system. Healthcare facilities across Alabama were given the opportunity to submit an application to be selected for PPHI. The vision initially was to provide funding for 10 hospitals. However, due to overwhelming response, Alabama Power increased funding to allow all applicants to participate. They provided partial funding of the pilot costs and the hospitals contributed to the balance demonstrating their commitment to the program.

Facing the problem and recognizing the opportunity to help people.

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are responsible for thousands of lives and millions of dollars lost each year. Care for patients with HAIs accounts for 4.03 percent of all care delivered. The costs associated with patient treatment make up 79 percent of hospital net losses. For each HAI that occurs, the patient’s length of stay increases by 8.12 days, hospital costs increase by $20,549 and a hospital net loss for the care given is $5,206 per patient.

Hand hygiene is widely accepted as the most effective means of reducing HAI occurrence; however, high levels of sustained hand hygiene compliance by healthcare workers remain elusive. Current hand hygiene compliance monitoring methods, such as periodic surveillance, self-reporting, and aggregate volume measurements, are often inaccurate and hard to implement. Healthcare workers often overestimate the frequency and quality of personal hand washing; therefore, self-reported practice is an inaccurate method.

The key barrier to improving hand hygiene practices and compliance rates lies in the inability to track and measure compliance across a hospital. The weaknesses of previously utilized methods have received attention from healthcare and government agencies, which have called for research and new sciences to be developed for prompt, accurate and efficient measurement of hand-hygiene compliance.

Doctor looking at communication unit

Healthcare workers receive important personal, professional and patient care information at the point of care.

In response to need and demonstrable results, Alabama Power and Proventix created the Putting Power into Healthcare Initiative (PPHI) to encourage hospitals across the state of Alabama to implement Proventix Systems, Inc.’s nGage™ system to monitor and improve hand hygiene compliance. The initiative will combine:
(1) 24/7 hand-hygiene compliance monitoring
(2) Active healthcare worker communications
(3) Behavioral modification (compel to comply using positive reinforcement)
(4) Clinical and financial outcomes measurement
(5) Additional RFID-based monitoring to improve quality and efficiency

The nGage™ system.

The nGage™ system is a point-of-care quality compliance monitoring system that motivates healthcare workers to follow hand-hygiene standards and practice hand hygiene when most effective for the safety of the patients for whom they are caring. With nGage, the worker receives personalized messaging in the form of professional, educational and user-identified content through an active communication display located above the dispenser.

While the system’s focus is on hand-hygiene events, its extended capabilities provide efficiencies that improve patient care and reinforce system adoption. Some of these include two-way communications, allowing relay and tracking of patient care information, hourly rounding monitoring, 30-degree head-height angle monitoring, asset tracking and provide healthcare workers icon-based visual cues of patient status while they wash their hands. Hand hygiene is crucial and is of core value to nGage. Improved and sustained healthcare worker compliance and efficiencies will ultimately result in better health, better healthcare and lower costs through improved quality for all stakeholders.

Design of a national model.

Alabama PPHI hospitals working together to improve quality of care.

The Putting Power into Healthcare Initiative is a model for collaborative partnerships among healthcare organizations and private sector employers. PPHI provides a bold example of communities coming together to help improve the healthcare system. The results from statewide installations will produce quantitative information that others can utilize to improve healthcare quality.

The initiative aims to expand clinical and economic results, while setting a standard for wider U.S. consideration. All partners want to create efficient ways for hospitals to adopt technology that leads to improved patient safety, while minimizing the financial considerations that create barriers to entry.

Who does this help in Alabama?

PPHI not only benefits patients and healthcare organizations, but also benefits Alabama Power and Alabama Power customers. As one of the state’s larger employers, Alabama Power has sizable healthcare costs. Additionally, many patients who experience an infection in Alabama are Alabama Power customers. The potential cost savings transcend hospitals, health plans and employers, providing a compelling justification for this effort.

Dispensing increases, NIMs drop: the numbers show it.

Given the nGage system’s success in aiding Princeton Baptist Medical Center to reduce healthcare-associated infections by 22 percent, similar results can be expected in the PPHI hospitals. An overall reduction of infections per hospital of just 10 percent will far exceed the results achieved when utilizing existing methods of hand hygiene compliance improvements.


Real World Evidence

Implementation of Proventix’s nGage system at Princeton Baptist Medical Center, located in Birmingham, Alabama, achieved astounding results. The results were measured through the use of existing hospital data in conjunction with data collected by the nGage system. At the seven-month mark of the pilot, nosocomial infection markers (NIMs) had decreased by 22 percent overall. This was noted on the pilot unit as compared to the same months during the previous year. This reflects a decrease of 159 patient days and reduced hospital net losses of over $133,386.

To offer an idea of what the opportunity represents to Alabama and the United States, given a similar 22 percent reduction in HAIs.

By the end of 2010, the nGage system pilot included two units at Princeton Baptist and those units combined saw a 21.7 percent reduction in NIMs. This represents a reduction of 43 NIMs, compared to the same months during the previous year with a decrease of 312 patient days and reduced hospital net losses of $260,709.

Baptist Health System was the first hospital network to adopt the Proventix nGage system nationally and has now expanded nGage to its entire network of hospitals. Their success and other hospital’s successes have led to more than 40 hospitals nationally implementing and using the nGage system.

Results achieved from installation of nGage at Princeton Baptist Medical Center demonstrates the following benefits to all parties involved in the Putting Power into Healthcare Initiative:

  1. Patients – Fewer hospital infections translates to less suffering, shorter length of stay and fewer deaths associated with HAIs.
  2. Hospitals – Reduced non-reimbursable, variable costs associated with HAIs equates to improved operating margins. Improved outcomes lead to higher patient satisfaction and reduced legal risk and/or malpractice exposure from hospital infections.
  3. Alabama Power – As a self-insured employer, Alabama Power Company is interested in the cost of healthcare, but more importantly is concerned with the quality of care that is available to our community. Fewer HAIs lead to lower healthcare costs, shorter hospital stays, and an overall improvement in patient safety.

Following the success of the PPHI, further opportunities for quality improvement will present themselves. Proventix aims to be a healthcare transforming company with a goal of achieving zero infections. Within the next decade, Proventix believes there will be participation by non-healthcare firms in the improvement of the quality of the U.S. health system. Healthcare quality improvements benefit everyone including hospitals, payors, employers and, most importantly, patients.

Participating Hospitals

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