Monday, February 11, 2008

Handwashing, Semmelweis, and Quality Improvement

Did you know that the best way to prevent infections is to wash your hands frequently? Apparently the only people who didn't know this worked in nursing homes. There was an article in this month's AHCA Provider about this suprisingly new concept that was just recently discovered about, what, 100 years ago by Semmelweis. Ironically, the so-called "Semmelweis Reflex" is an outright dismissal of any information that is radically out of sync with the status quo. Kind of like introducing *real* quality improvement to nursing homes (by real, I mean the prospective, quantatative kind that actually gets results, not some half-arsed PDSA crap). If you need proof that this truly non-existant, take a look here.

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