It’s a Mini-Series

This is the second Take5 in a series on improving the hand hygiene of physicians. The first release shared success stories and a video sequence from Doctor Dan Perrault. This Take5 explores why Doctors don’t comply with standards.   
 
Doctors Set the Standard
The CDC & WHO have guidelines on when caregiver hands must be washed or sanitized. Doctors don’t follow, they lead. After all, who is in the best position to assess if hands need washing, an absentee group of regulators or an “on the scene” knowledgeable and experienced healthcare professional? Science may favor the former but logic favors the latter?
 
Assumicide: - The unintentional killing or endangering of patients and co-workers by a caregiver (Doctor) who assumes they can skip a handwash “just this once” because:
          1) There has not been an HAI outbreak for some time
          2) My hands look and feel safe
          3) Not washing in this situation has never caused a problem before

Life requires we continually assess risk & make decisions. The more experienced a person is in a discipline the more risk they tend to assume. Doctors are no exception. Experienced based assumptions lead them to believe they know when to wash. Unfortunately, the safe assumptions of yesterday are today’s HAI outbreaks.
 
Overcoming Underwashing
Changing entrenched behavior is a challenge when years of experience have ingrained false assumptions. In the first issue we shared how a number of hospitals successfully target caregivers in behavior altering programs. However, some caregivers require individual attention to change and doctors are high on this list.   
 
The Assumicidal Challenge
Handwashingforlife® is developing a video game that challenges Assumicidal behavior. It’s an animated walk through a hospital to get caregivers to revisit their existing assumptions on when to wash or sanitize their hands.
Play the game and help us perfect it.
 
 


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