Press Releases

DebMed Patient Safety Solution Helps Hospitals Minimize Reduced Reimbursement for Patient Readmissions


CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DebMed®, creator of DebMed® GMS™ (Group Monitoring System), the world's first evidence-based group monitoring system to electronically monitor, track and report compliance rates in real-time based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene," is providing assurance through technology for the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. 

Under the Affordable Care Act, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, effective October 1, 2012, reduces reimbursements to hospitals with excess readmissions.  Hospitals that perform worse than average, with patients returning to the hospital within 30 days of discharge, will face up to a 1 percent penalty, which would average $125,000 per facility this coming year, according to government estimates. The penalties increase over time up to 3 percent in 2015. Under the program, the measures that are related to the reimbursements focus on heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, patients' perception of care and healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

"With legislation threatening hospital reimbursements as a result of patient readmissions, it is imperative that patient quality and safety are top of mind," said Paul Alper, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, DebMed. "DebMed is helping hospitals lead the change to improved care through electronic hand hygiene monitoring with the DebMed GMS that provides actionable, real-time data  to help increase hand hygiene compliance and thereby reduce preventable infections."

The DebMed GMS electronically tracks and reports healthcare workers' hand hygiene behavior, helping to increase hand hygiene compliance and thereby reduce healthcare-associated infections to improve patient safety and minimizing the impact of the new readmissions penalties.  A study conducted at Duke University Medical Center and published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology showed that minimal improvements in compliance lead to substantial savings, concluding that a 1 percent increase in hand hygiene compliance would result in annual savings of $39,650 for a 200-bed hospital.

HAIs account for nearly 2 million infections, 99,000 deaths and up to an estimated $45 billion in costs annually in the U.S alone.  Proper hand hygiene is the number one way to prevent HAIs, yet the typical rate of hand hygiene compliance is estimated to be only 40-50 percent.

Nearly one-fifth of Medicare beneficiaries – roughly 2 million beneficiaries per year – discharged from a hospital return within 30 days, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory commission (MedPAC). Identifying and reducing avoidable readmissions will improve patient safety, enhance quality of care and lower healthcare spending.

About DebMed®

DebMed is the healthcare program of the Deb Group. The DebMed program offers innovative hand hygiene products, electronic monitoring technology, and improvement tools to support hand hygiene compliance.  The DebMed® GMS™ (Group Monitoring System) is the world's first group monitoring system to report hand hygiene compliance rates in real-time based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene" and to date has recorded more than 16 million hand hygiene events.  The electronic monitoring system is being utilized in a four year, multi-site research project being conducted by the Columbia University School of Nursing and funded by a $1.2 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It is the first study aimed at reducing healthcare-associated infections in pediatric long-term care facilities by improving staff compliance with hand hygiene guidelines. Deb is the first hand hygiene company in the world to provide actionable information along with its hand hygiene products to help drive best practices and improved outcomes for patients worldwide.  For more information on the study or DebMed, visit

About Deb Group

Possessing international scale and strong local market presence, Deb Group provides innovative skin care programs for all types of workplace and public environments, spanning industrial, commercial, healthcare and food sectors.  Headquartered in the United Kingdom with U.S. operations based in Charlotte, NC, Deb Group is comprised of 21 companies operating in 16 countries.  For more information, visit

For media inquiries, contact: Holly Jespersen, 203-504-8230 x132,