My Anti-Handwashing-Poster Poster
Hospital acquired infections continue to be a big problem, one that's often unsolved except for instances like Dr. Rick Shannon's work at West Penn-Allegheny and UPenn and the “checklists” approach used at a number of hospitals around the world.
One approach to infection prevention has been a focus on medical professionals using proper hand hygiene techniques… often done through endless education campaigns and tons of posters. Is the root cause of this problem really lack of education?
I'd propose that if signs and posters were really the solution, then hospitals would have solved hand hygiene and HAI's already. Yet this is still the approach that's often pushed – more signs and more posters, including clever ones or cute ones like this.
There is a good blog and website that I've written about before called HAI Watch. They have a new online community that you can sign up for to discuss these problems and to talk about potential solutions. It's one thing to say it's unacceptable to have infections “on my watch” (as a medical professional), but as Dr. Deming would have asked, “by what method?”
But one feature of the site that I sort of cringed at is the “make your own poster” feature. This might be well intended, but may be ineffective.
Since I have a bit of a subversive streak, I made this “anti-poster poster” that talks about how posters might not really be the right countermeasure… given the chance, this is the poster I'd hang in hospitals:
What do you think? Would an anti-poster poster be just as effective as the signs that are normally posted?