A friend shared this fun video about how to influence hand washing behavior amongst a group of 12 kids. As the introduction points out, improper hand hygiene can be deadly in hospital settings.
In the scenario, the kids are given a task to complete, with the promise of cupcakes at the end as a reward:
In the first round, the facilitator explains that a kid who had done the exercise earlier was sick with a runny nose, so there’s hand sanitizer in the room for you. This was creating a personal motivation — not wanting to get sick.
Not surprising, not a single kid walked across the room to use the hand gel.
For the second try, they told the kids about the risk of sickness, but they also moved the gel to be more convenient (a form of the 5S methodology, arguably) and hung a sign reminding the kids (regular reads will know my opinion on signs being ineffective). ZERO kids used the gel, even though it was right there.
They then added training and the change to practice – this led to two kids out of 12 washing their hands.
Then, they added “social influence,” where a peer somebody speaks up and says something at a key moment — 11 out of 12 kids washed their hands with the santizer!
The key point and the lesson? You have to combine different methods of influence (using four or more of the “six sources of influence” significantly increases your odds of success) – as described in the book Influencer: The Power to Change Anything – has anybody read it?
How can you apply these ideas to the things that are supposed to happen in hospitals, including:
- Hand hygiene in and out of patient rooms
- Pre-operative “time outs”
- Following other sorts of checklists?
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