News | April 11, 2013

GE Healthcare And HCA Collaborate To Tackle Hand Hygiene

HCA’s Summerville Medical Center uses real-time data and analytics to track hand hygiene compliance

GE Healthcare and HCA’s Summerville Medical Center have collaborated to develop and deploy a data driven technology solution that tracks hand washing data as it relates to patient care through the use of small sensor tags. The new GE Healthcare AgileTrac RTLS (Real-Time Location System) solution provides a more complete picture of clinicians’ hand-washing behaviors than traditional manual programs, which by nature aren’t able to capture as many data points on a daily basis. The automated system collects up to 5,000 data points a day vs. 700 per year with manual observation.

“The ultimate goal of any hospital is to provide the best level of care to patients,” said Louis Caputo, CEO, Summerville Medical Center. “Our innovative culture prompted us to expand our current relationship with GE and tackle hospital acquired infections through the tracking of hand hygiene compliance. The greatest value of this technology has proven to be the data – the fact you can look at individual workflows and departments and make changes accordingly. It’s a constant reminder to put the patient first.”

By expanding GE Healthcare’s AgileTrac RTLS reach with sensor tags, Summerville Medical Center was able to create a detailed record of each patient’s experience by accurately recording, measuring and reporting hand washing—all without affecting the existing workflow. Each caregiver wears a badge that counts room entries and exits as well as the use of soap or sanitizer dispensers. The data collected from the system is used to model and characterize clinician-patient interactions, providing detailed data to help monitor and modify behavior.

The technology was first rolled out in the Summerville Medical Center ICU in the spring of 2012 and then expanded to its medical surgery units and the ER.

“There is no better way for GE to meet its customers’ demands for efficiency and productivity than to provide technology and solutions that can help predict and prevent problems and get the right information to the right people at the right time,” said Fran Dirksmeier, General Manager, Global Asset Management, GE Healthcare. “Our collaboration with Summerville has been invaluable as we look to tackle one of healthcare’s toughest challenges in a data driven way.”

HCA has been a leader in a number of major patient safety and quality improvement initiatives, including in the area of infection prevention. As the first hospital to have this GE technology, Summerville Medical Center’s roll-out of the hand hygiene compliance solution is yet another example of that.

About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.

About Summerville Medical Center
Summerville Medical Center is a 94-bed, acute care hospital located in the Oakbrook section of Summerville between Ladson and Trolley Roads and is part of the HCA hospital system. Accredited by The Joint Commission, Summerville Medical Center is committed to providing quality health services along with wellness information and opportunities to the communities it serves. The Joint Commission has named Summerville to their list of the nation’s top hospitals for quality and safety for two consecutive years in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, Trident Health provided almost $40M in charity and uncompensated care and contributed $27M in taxes. For more information, visit

Source: GE Healthcare