I am a huge fan of ‘The Easter Ham Story’. In the story, a little girl watches her mother prepare the Easter ham and decides to ask her mother why she cuts off both ends before putting it in the pot. The mother of the little girl responds with only, “That’s how its always been done.”
What makes this story a favorite of mine is because I always find myself compelled to learn why we do things the way we do them? It’s also a great story to share with others around the anxiety of asking the question “Why?” A lot of the time, I hear people say,” ….that’s how it’s always been done”. Sharing ‘The Easter Ham Story’ with people gets them to think and participate in looking for improvements and solutions.
Recently, I had an opportunity to engage a table of Infection Prevention Control Experts on their opinions of why present hand hygiene rates are reportedly as high as 90% yet infection rates continue to climb. The enlightening discussion that arose, lead to these conclusions:
These are suggested solutions to the problems we raised: A result of asking, “Why?”
In conclusion, as players in infection prevention, we are armed with more technology, human resources, and intellect to allow us to do better. To make changes and improvements, we should continue to ask, “Why despite improved had washing rates do we continue to see hikes in infection rates”. Asking why is a good start to closing this growing gap between high rates of Hand hygiene despite even higher infection rates. We cannot afford to be complacent and continue to do things the way they have always been done.
About Barley Chironda
Barley Chironda is a Infection Preventionist at a large community hospital in Ontario, Canada. He enjoys process improvement and implementing change aimed at lowering Health-care acquired infections. Follow @barleychironda on twitter or LinkedIN for an opportunity to stay in the know of current developments in Infection Prevention and control.
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