Just Clean Your Hands
(5 pages of text)
In 2011, a fourth-year science student at The University of Western Ontario must provide the manager of Infection and Prevention Control her recommendations to improve staff compliance with the hand hygiene requirements of the medical and support staff at London Health Sciences Centre and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care had implemented an initiative called Just Clean Your Hands to improve hand-cleaning rates that would directly affect the number of infections acquired by patients while in hospital. The task is complicated by the large number of employees working at LHSC and the many different employee groups, ranging from physicians to cleaning staff. Hand-cleaning procedures must also be followed by the patients' families and friends who visit. In addition, workplace sub-cultures have historically not enforced compliance with discipline. Essentially, the challenge is to change the behaviour of a large group of people in diverse roles. Students should realize that because health care is publicly funded in Ontario, any plan of action to improve hand-cleaning compliance will need to be justified financially and implemented at a reasonable cost.
This case was written for the organizational behaviour module of an introductory undergraduate business course. Students are required to analyse a fairly complex issue, and the case should, therefore, be used as a comprehensive case. It is also suitable for use as a testing vehicle.
Students must evaluate a number of organizational behaviour concepts including leadership, power and influence, motivation, workplace structure and culture, communication and action planning. The case’s setting in a health-care facility may make this case particularly interesting to students in medical science. There are opportunities to discuss a number of concepts, with sufficient material for either a 50-minute or an 80-minute class. Numerous videos and training materials that explain the importance of hand hygiene are available, and the Just Clean Your Hands initiative is available at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's website: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ms/handhygiene/. The instructor may wish to select some of these materials and show them in class as an aid to classroom discussion.
Health Care Services
Canada, Large, 2011
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