Proventix Announces First Annual Lathem Physician Leadership Award in Hand Hygiene

Proventix Systems, Inc. of Birmingham, Ala. announces the call for nominations for the first annual Lathem Physician Leadership Award in Hand Hygiene. Created in honor of Dr. Mickey Lathem of Birmingham's Shelby Baptist Medical Center, the Lathem Award recognizes physicians who demonstrate excellence and leadership in hand hygiene.

As both a physician and parent of a child who contracted a healthcare-associated infection (HAI), Lathem began advocating hand hygiene and promoting a heightened awareness among all healthcare providers. Proventix established the award in his honor due to his exemplary performance as a physician quality leader, specifically in hand hygiene.

"I'm thrilled and honored to be the namesake for this initiative," says Lathem. "Research supports the understanding that physician-led quality improvement efforts significantly reduce adverse outcomes and help sustain compliance among caregivers. Hand hygiene is such a simple thing; we can and should do better."

Harvey Nix, CEO and founder of Proventix, created the award to recognize physicians who act as change agents in their facilities and encourage hand washing, whether through the promotion of hand hygiene improvement initiatives, verbal reinforcement, or by example. "Healthcare workers get caught up in the busy day-to-day tasks and can forget to wash their hands. The Lathem Physician Leadership Award in Hand Hygiene was created to honor those physicians who recognize the importance of hand hygiene and do their part to prevent infections."

Clinical quality leaders Drs. Atul Gawande and Peter Pronovost have demonstrated that it is possible to improve outcomes through standardized processes and the collaborative efforts of healthcare workers."Dr. Gawande suggests the most difficult thing to get clinicians to do is wash their hands," says Lathem. "But physicians have a greater responsibility to set the example and encourage others to improve the quality of care delivered to patients. Hand washing improves quality and enables healthcare workers to deliver safer care, leading to better patient outcomes."

The award nomination form is available on until May 27, 2011. Lathem Award winners will be announced on June 28, 2011 in conjunction with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) annual conference in Baltimore.