Healthcare industry’s push to advance reliable hand hygiene monitoring

Medline joins The Leapfrog Group’s Partners Advisory Committee to further help hospitals, health systems raise safety standards

By Medline Newsroom Staff | March 24, 2021

Medline is excited to announce that it has joined The Leapfrog Group’s Partners Advisory Committee, bringing together healthcare industry voices to help advance patient safety initiatives. By participating in the committee, Medline will share its considerable expertise on hand hygiene compliance and its vital role in patient safety to help health systems reach their safety goals in an efficient and timely manner.

“Leapfrog has taken a strong leadership position when it comes to providing guidance for best practices in hand hygiene,” says Paul Alper, vice president of patient safety innovation, Medline. “We are excited to become a member of the Leapfrog Partners Advisory Committee and look forward to advising Leapfrog on the latest key industry trends in hand hygiene performance improvement,” Alper continued. With more than 35 years of healthcare industry experience, Alper helped create the alcohol hand sanitizer category and is an inventor of the first hand hygiene monitoring system proven to help improve hand hygiene compliance while reducing infections and costs.1

While hand hygiene is a primary measure for reducing risk of infection transmission amongst clinicians and staff to patients, most compliance monitoring efforts still heavily rely on visual observation of behavior by hospital staff. Studies have shown that this method is highly inaccurate and can overstate compliance by up to 300%,2 which can result in a false sense of security. Leadership may not know there is a problem, especially if they believe compliance is 90+% when it is in fact as low as 30%.

“We are thrilled to have an infection prevention market leader like Medline join our Advisory committee,” says Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Hand hygiene is integral to the safety of any care site, and Medline has consistently been at the forefront of innovation in the field, helping clients improve their monitoring and drive higher compliance.”

To help hospitals achieve and sustain higher hand hygiene compliance and advance best practices, The Leapfrog Group has created a dynamic hand hygiene standard. Recent updates to the standard include ensuring alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers are available both inside a patient’s room or bed space and at the entrance of the patient room or bed space, and documenting up to 200 hand hygiene opportunities per month depending on the number of patients in each care unit, numbers of procedures performed in out-patient areas and number of visits to the emergency department.

Driving change with actionable data

New electronic monitoring solutions are now making it possible for hospitals to accurately capture virtually all hand hygiene opportunities and compliance events which could be in the tens of thousands per unit per month,3 and push actionable data to leaders while providing real-time alerts to front line staff 24/7. Medline recently launched an exclusive collaboration for hand hygiene compliance with Intelligent Observation to add the company’s IntelObserve® electronic hand hygiene monitoring system to its growing portfolio of hand hygiene solutions. It is the only e-monitoring solution that uses near-field magnetic induction (NFMI), plus a proprietary form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver precise and accurate data for staff feedback.

Illinois-based Silver Cross Hospital is in the beginning stages of installing IntelObserve across its 300-bed facility.

“We are really excited to be an early adopter of an electronic hand hygiene monitoring system based on near field magnetic induction or NFMI,’ says Michael Mutterer, Vice President of Patient Care & Chief Nursing Officer at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, IL. “Direct observation has always been susceptible to the Hawthorne Effect and RFID-based technologies are becoming outdated.  We believe Intelligent Observation (IO) truly offers many advances in the electronic hand hygiene monitoring field and are excited about our partnership with Medline.”

Learn more about how Medline is helping hospitals improve hand hygiene compliance.

Note: When making any decisions concerning achieving the Leapfrog Hand Hygiene Standard, hospitals should refer to and only rely on the Leapfrog Hand Hygiene Standard and Survey full-text version for complete information and decision support found here and check leapfroggroup.org regularly for updates.

  1. Kelly, et al, (2016) Electronic hand hygiene monitoring as a tool for reducing health care–associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection, Am J Infection Control, doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2016.04.215
  2. Srigley JA, Furness CD, Baker GR, et al. Quantification of the Hawthorne effect in hand hygiene compliance monitoring using an electronic monitoring system: a retrospective cohort study, BMJ Qual Saf, doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2014- 003080 AIJC 2016,
  3. Steed C, Kelly JW, Blackhurst D, Boeker S, Diller T, Alper P and Larson E. (2011). Hospital hand hygiene opportunities: Where and when (HOW2)? The HOW2 Benchmark Study. Am J Infect Control. 39(1), 19–26. doi:10.1016/j. ajic.2010.10.007
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Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline's newsroom staff researches and reports on the latest news and trends in healthcare.

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