'Smart' alerts serve to boost labor efficiency, cut waste

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GOJO’s new system allows more efficient refills, the company said.
GOJO’s new system allows more efficient refills, the company said.

New GOJO SMARTLINK Service Alerts allow providers to reduce waste and maximize the efficiency of environmental service workers, according to results of a pilot project.

The Service Alerts, released Jan. 31, are part of the  SMARTLINK Hand Hygiene Monitoring system and collect usage and status data on each device. GOJO technology sends real-time updates when a dispenser will need to be refilled.

In the long-term care facility pilot of 100 dispensers, originally the biggest complaint was dispensers being out of Purell. 

At the end of the pilot, there were zero complaints, according to April Bertram, Business Development Director, Service Alerts at GOJO.

Part of that related to employees being able to service the dispensers more effectively, she said.

“They saved 25 hours of time per week that would  be repurposed,” she told McKnight's. “They were being more proactive and had greater operational efficiency. There were a lot of things that were a return on investment.”

The cost of the refills also decreased: Before the smart alerts, an employee might have pulled a refill bottle that was still 30% to 50% full in order to put in a full refill for the next shift. By having the alerts, “they could make sure it was exact.” By predicting when refills need to be ordered, GoJo “can focus on just-in-time inventory.” 

There is increased interest in using the Internet of Things across the healthcare spectrum, and a heightened awareness of best practices in infection control, Bertram noted.

“Facilities are reaching out more proactively,” she said.

Other components of the SMARTLINK system include the Activity Monitoring System, which keeps track of and measures compliance on a community level; a Clinician-based support system, and a mobile app Observation System that can collate hand hygiene equipment metrics.