Donuts for handwashing
Posted: November 20th, 2007 - 7:55am by Ben ChapmanThe Globe and Mail reports this morning that health care staff at Canada's largest research hospital, University Hospital Network, are being further encouraged to wash their hands. Doctors, nurses and other staff are being provided with a spot incentive from a "roaming posse of infection control staff " : a $2 Tim Horton's gift certificate.
The gesture, to begin later this month, is aimed at reducing the number of hospital-acquired methicillen-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections to zero, said Michael Gardam, the director of infection prevention and control for the University Health Network.
Very cool -- we have heard through some of our research that incentives and recognition for good food safety practices can be valued by front-line staff, but aren't always offered.
University Health Network's Dr. Gardam said he got the idea after hearing how Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles offered $10 (U.S.) Starbucks gift certificates to doctors in a bid to increase hand hygiene compliance.
Though the coffee chain is different, and the gift certificate's denomination is more humble, the thought is the same: a small token to reward those with "good behaviour as well as try to improve the not so good," said Dr. Gardam. To that end, he has purchased $1,000 worth of Tim Hortons gift certificates and will buy more should he receive a favourable response from hospital workers.