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Monday 2:49 CST, December 18, 2017

Froedtert Hospital - CEO Statement

William D. Petasnickpetasnick
Froedtert Hospital

Healthcare professionals have known for more than 100 years that washing hands is critical to preventing the spread of disease. In all that time, no standard measure for hand-washing has been established nor a process to ensure that it is done every time for every patient.

Froedtert Hospital was pleased to join with a prestigious group of hospitals led by Mark Chassin, someone I consider to be a transformational leader. Using Six Sigma methodology, we worked together to study the problem and identify effective interventions that other hospitals can adopt.

We believed we were doing a reasonably good job with hand hygiene at Froedtert Hospital. However, like the other seven hospitals participating in this project, when we applied the more stringent measurement system of Six Sigma, we found that our performance was considerably below acceptable levels.

Hand-washing in hospitals should become as automatic as looking both ways before crossing the street. As we achieve successful and sustainable progress in improving this long-standing issue, I’m confident hospitals can apply the same collaborative techniques and process improvement tools to other complex patient safety issues.