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The #HCBiz Show Podcast

Why Hand Hygiene Matters
with Tamás Haidegger

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Infection Prevention Spotlight Podcast

Interview with Dr. Tamás Haidegger
of Hand-In-Scan™

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Semmelweis Systems™?

The Hand-in-Scan™ Semmelweis System has been designed to address a primary and critical barrier to the adoption of proper hand hygiene en masse: finding a way to drive human behavioural change as it pertains to hand hygiene practices.

Historically we have seen evolutionary moments in time when innovative processes have emerged in order to combat an imminent threat to the health and safety of the general public. With the challenges presented to everyone due to the COVID-19 virus, we have been presented with a new threat to our way of life, and a new moment in time wherein it is incumbent upon us to evolve in order to survive.

We have discovered that a key to eliminating the spread of infectious diseases is through education, training, and the modification of hand washing and sterilization behaviours.

With real-time, automated data points, the Hand-in-Scan™ System positively impacts key behavioural pattern changes that strengthen our collective efforts, significantly improve hand hygiene, and eliminate the spread of infectious diseases.

What is included in the Hand-in-Scan™ System?

Semmelweis Systems consist of:

  1. Semmelweis Scanner
  2. Semmelweis Software
  3. Semmelweis Certification
Semmelweis Scanner is an innovative device that is able to provide immediate quality- assured feedback regarding hand hygiene.

Semmelweis Software is a cloud-based dashboard and reporting system that gives you all the information you need to manage your Hand Hygiene Quality programs.

Semmelweis Certification is a cloud-based Hand Hygiene learning platform that delivers college-level training of hand hygiene. Results are matched to the students Semmelweis Scanner scores for annual certification of hand hygiene competency.

The systems, accessories and consumables are all included under one monthly fee.

What do I need to launch my Semmelweis hand hygiene program?

Everything that you need to launch your enterprise hand hygiene quality program is included in one low monthly fee:

  • Semmelweis Scanner
  • Mobile Platform (WOW)
  • Cloud Software
  • Online Admin & User Accounts
  • Software Upgrades
  • Installation
  • Business Hour Support
  • Training ABHR

Can my hospital book a trial?

Yes! If you are a leading US or Canadian hospital system with an excellent record of quality and publicly reported patient safety scores – we would look forward to working with you on an assessment trial protocol.

We have over 350 systems in operation globally, with 31 publications on Hand Hygiene across 12 global medical journals. Our founder is leading the ISO Standard Development for Hand Hygiene Globally. There isn’t a lot we haven’t seen…and we look forward to sharing what we know and demonstrating value to you.

What are the IT Requirements?

The Semmelweis Systems require only:

  • WIFI Access
  • Plug/Power
  • Optional: Integration to current RFID Staff Badge System
We are IT-Audit Ready and use the platform to ensure the highest standards of compliance to data security and privacy requirements.

Our solution is hosted on AWS.

We are GDPR and HIPAA audit-ready, although we do not collect or store any personal health information (PHI) at this time.

Why hand hygiene?

Infections and their transmission represent a risk in many areas: health-care institutions, nursing homes, hospitality and food industry, clean-tech production, biotech-related manufacturing. Although there are more than 150 different harmless species of bacteria on the human hand, there are also thousands of pathogenic stems (e.g., MRSA, CPE, MACI) and several lethal or disruptive viruses (e.g., SARS, H1N1, norovirus), which are typically acquired and transmitted via the hands.

Fierer et al., “The influence of sex, handedness, and washing on the diversity of hand surface bacteria.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci, USA. 105:17994- 17999, 208.

Does Hand-in-Scan™ train staff, students and users on cleaning hands with soap, or just ABHR (Alcohol-based Hand Rub)?

Hand-in-Scan™ works with both ABHR and soap. The administrator can configure the test based on the scenarios and training requirements.

What are healthcare-associated infections?

Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are diseases that patients acquire during the course of hospitalization, while receiving treatment for an unrelated condition. Infections associated with unsterile medical devices, contaminated surfaces or non-sterile hands can cause severe illness and, in some cases, even death.

How does Semmelweis Systems™ improve hand hygiene?

Semmelweis Scanner can effectively teach and control hand rubbing in any environment by relying on objective feedback based on digital technology. The System provides immediate and objective feedback related to the quality and thoroughness of the act of hand rubbing. Such feedback is essential for proper improvement of skills and technique. With its online reporting system, the Semmelweis Scanner helps to significantly improve hand hygiene practices, while monitoring hand hygiene competence. The scanner is a great example of how technology can induce a behavioral change.

Lehotsky et al., “Quantitative impact of direct, personal feedback on hand hygiene technique. ” Journal of Hospital Infection, 2015 –

Are there any risks associated with Semmelweis Scanner?

No. Semmelweis Scanner uses low-power UV-A lighting to reveal the coverage of the sanitization solution on the hands, which poses no additional health risk. The special hand rub contains the UV dye and is tested for educational use in a clinical environment.

Can Semmelweis Scanner improve an institution’s hand hygiene compliance?

Yes. Employees learn proper hand disinfection techniques and maintain their skills over time through the regular use of Semmelweis Scanner. When employing it for continuous monitoring, the management can maintain the required level of hand hygiene quality throughout their institution.

Semmelweis Scanners have been tested in several hospitals. The number of inadequate hand rubbing dropped significantly while using the Semmelweis Scanner for immediate feedback. Failure rate was reduced significantly, by 60% after the 5th measurement.1

Additionally, using an ultraviolet cabinet has been proven to improve compliance with the World Health Organization’s hand hygiene recommendations (September 03, 2020)

When evaluating UV training for improvement in compliance rate to WHO hand hygiene recommendations (completeness of ABHR application & HH opportunities), the effect After 1 Year:

  • 100% Quality Improvement
  • Doubled in the intervention group (60.0% vs. 30.4%, p < 0.001)
  • 34% Compliance Improvement
  • Compliance with the HH WHO’s opportunities was increased in the intervention group (58.1% vs. 42.4%, p < 0.018)
The conclusion was that using UV cabinet-based training for the education of hand hygiene improves their technique & compliance with WHO recommendations (completeness of ABHR application AND HH opportunities) 2

1. Lehotsky et al., “Quantitative impact of direct, personal feedback on hand hygiene technique. ” Journal of Hospital Infection, 2015 –
2. Day et al., “Using an ultraviolet cabinet improves compliance with the World Health Organization’s hand hygiene recommendations by undergraduate medical students: a randomized controlled trial” Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control volume 9, Article number: 147 (2020)

Has Hand-in-Scan™ Semmelweis Systems been effective and validated?

Semmelweis Scanner has been validated thousands of healthcare workers worldwide.

Results clearly showed huge gaps: hand hygiene effectiveness was shown to be insufficient in up to 93% of all cases (following WHO’s protocol). Detailed results are available as a peer-reviewed journal publications in the US and EU.3, 4

Ongoing education and training plays a vital role in improving hand hygiene compliance and technique of the staff. Identifying typical skin areas subject to poor hand hygiene techniques can help improve personal technique and ultimately patient care at large.

The technology is based on an internationally patented innovation. The team authored 31 scientific publications, and won over 19 major innovation awards. The system is in use in 18 countries globally.

3. BMC Article: www.
4. Duong et al., “Evaluation of Hand Disinfection using the Semmelweis System” (2017).

Why is Semmelweis Scanner better than existing educational solutions?

There is no other technology-driven method available for the quality assessment of hand hygiene. Semmelweis Scanner’s main advantage is the software-supported quality control. With its immediate user feedback, the device solves the problem of objectivity and unambiguous user-feedback. It has been shown that hospital workers are in general willing to comply well with hand hygiene requirements, once they understood the importance of it. 5,6 Decreasing HAI numbers and associated costs helps the hospital management to understand the importance of proper hand hygiene as well.

5. Kampf et al., “Influence of rub-in-technique on required application time and hand coverage in hygienic hand disinfection”. BMC Infectious Disease, 2008 6. www.

Additional Resources

Press Releases

Hand Hygiene Articles

Scientific Papers