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Podcast #205 – Joe Schnur, Hand Hygiene & Patient Safety

MP3 File (run time 32:43)

schnurEpisode #205 is a conversation with Joe Schnur, VP Business Development at Intelligent M, a company that “designs data-driven hand hygiene compliance  improvement solutions for hospitals that dramatically reduce healthcare-acquired infections and their associated costs.” Joe and I share a passion for improving patient safety and we’ve had a number of great conversations comparing notes on the problem and the different ways we need to work toward solving it. We decided to finally record one of those discussions for a podcast.

In the podcast, Joe shares some shocking statistics about “hand hygiene compliance” – that while hospitals report numbers that are far higher, the typical care provider washes or cleans their hands only about 20% of the time. One management challenge (and sales challenge for Joe) is that hospital executives might find it too easy to sit back and point to the inaccurately high numbers that claim 90%+ compliance (numbers that are based on sampling instead of real data).

When I first started talking to Joe, I was skeptical about a “monitoring” technology for healthcare professionals, since I see hand hygiene as a system problem (lack of time, empty gel dispensers) that management has to work to fix… it’s a process problem. But, I think (as in many cases) there is a role for technology that can be supportive of people (patients and staff) and can enable systemic improvement. What’s the proper balance between individual accountability and the role of “the system?” I’m curious to hear what you think (you can post a comment on this post).

For a link to this episode, refer people to  www.leanblog.org/205.

For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS or via Apple iTunes.  You can also listen via Stitcher.

Related Video:

How the Intelligent M band works:

Podcast eBook:

You might also be interested in an eBook with transcripts from some of my favorite podcasts:

Feedback & Comments:

If you have feedback on the podcast, or any questions for me or my guests, you can email me at [email protected] or you can call and leave a voicemail by calling the “Lean Line” at (817) 776-LEAN (817-776-5326) or contact me via Skype id “mgraban”. Please give your location and your first name. Any comments (email or voicemail) might be used in follow ups to the podcast.


About LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as the new Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Customer Success for the technology company KaiNexus.

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2 Comments on "Podcast #205 – Joe Schnur, Hand Hygiene & Patient Safety"

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  1. Peter Kabel says:

    Brilliant idea, but I understand that Dutch Handwash experts will not advise to use the device, because of …..washing/desinfecting problems of the device itself and the skin under the device.

    Any data that undermines this statement?

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