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Handwashing: “Can’t Measure? Can’t Fix!"

Mike Mann's picture

Dr. Landon’s Prescription On Handwashing

Dr. Emily Landon, pioneer in handwash monitoring, is the Executive Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention at the 633 bed University of Chicago Medical Center. She is Board Certified with a specialty in Infectious Disease and has a passion for saving lives through enhanced hand hygiene.

Emily’s original work with Motorola and the Illinois Institute of Technology has evolved into a holistic, patient-centered understanding of the power of hand hygiene in reducing hospital acquired infections and saving lives.

Dr. Landon exposed the limitation of the monitoring by observation and faced the reality of compliance while so many hospitals simply continued to report a 90% level. This step started a journey looking at the risk and costs of non-compliance. She convinced her C-Suite that they had a problem that could not be fixed without a statistically significant level of observed and verified handwashes. Electronic observations were the answer. Reliable aggregate data became the foundation to motivate caregiver handwashing in a sustainable process-driven manner.

Emily’s penchant for continuous improvement includes taking the pulse of new technologies. Advances in individual monitoring could provide the incentive to move from their aggregate reporting system. Individual reporting brings with it challenges, mainly personal data security, but offers a platform to better reward those adhering to hospital policies.