CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DebMed®, creator of the world's first electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system based on the World Health Organization's (WHO's) " Five Moments for Hand Hygiene," today announced a collaborative partnership with Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) in Gainesville, GA. The 557-inpatient, 261-skilled nursing bed health system, which serves almost 700,000 people in more than 13 counties across Northeast Georgia, will enhance patient safety and healthcare quality through the implementation and use of the DebMed GMS™ electronic hand hygiene monitoring system to further support its goal of eliminating hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). HAIs are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are responsible for 99,000 deaths per year and result in up to $45 billion in annual healthcare costs. The DebMed GMS helps to increase hand hygiene compliance, which can directly lead to a reduction in HAIs and associated healthcare costs, through its unique ability to provide real-time feedback on hand hygiene behavior. "The ability of the DebMed GMS to provide automated, evidenced-based feedback in real time, based on the WHO's 'Five Moments,' was a natural fit with our goal of creating a culture of increased patient safety," said Sam Johnson, MD, Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of NGHS. "The implementation of the DebMed GMS is important to further support the hospital's mission to improve hospital performance and patient outcomes and to foster a safe hospital environment." NGHS is a not-for-profit community health system dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of the people of Northeast Georgia. The Health System offers a full range of healthcare services through its hospital in Gainesville, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, which was named one of the country's 100 Top Hospitals for 2009 by Thomson Reuters. The DebMed Program was reviewed in detail and approved by NGHS's Patient Safety Committee and Strategic Administrative Leadership Team. The implementation of the DebMed GMS further supports NGHS's continued patient safety improvements, such as its goal to eliminate HAIs, by improving infection prevention practices based on the data from electronic monitoring of hand hygiene using the WHO's guidelines. The WHO's "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene" is a higher clinical standard than the more commonly based practice of staff cleaning hands only before and after patient care.