OUTFOX is a Mindset for Infection Control

posted Jul 12, 2011, 11:01 AM by Todd Fox   [ updated Sep 24, 2016, 8:33 AM ]

What is OUTFOX?

 

OUTFOX is more than a brand of products and services.  OUTFOX is a mindset that instills a sense of urgency into a person to motivate them to outsmart germs, health problems, diseases and so forth.  Similar to a fox outmaneuvering predators, employees need to always look for ways to beat infections to reduce negative health and hygiene effects.

 

OUTFOX is a catchphrase used by organizations to bring their employees together under one goal and one mindset.  Slogans have long been known to help individuals accept and comply with initiatives.  Using a slogan brings congruency between departments, employee groups and professionals by getting them to think along the same idea framework.  It works in other industries, why not healthcare and infection control?

 

Examples of the catchphrase usage in a healthcare setting include:  What did you do to OUTFOX infection today?  Is the ICU floor OUTFOXing HAI’s effectively?  Did you train your staff so you can OUTFOX the recent measles outbreak?  What new technology is available for environmental cleaning to OUTFOX more infectious materials? And so forth.

 

In order for an infection control program to be successful, all employees need to be part of the initiative and using the catchphrase.  Hence, every employee becomes part of the OUTFOX team. 

 

Who is OUTFOX?

 

From top to bottom in an organization, CEOs to interns, employees need to continually be thinking of ways to OUTFOX infection.  A commitment from every employee is essential.  Infection control is a team activity that relies on all the participating members to uphold their end of the task.  Everyone in the organization plays a role that can positively or negatively affect other departments or individuals.  For example, if the janitorial staff is not properly sanitizing during environmental cleaning then significant problems can occur during health care procedures or other elements of care.  However, if the janitorial staff sanitizes correctly then there is a greater likelihood of successful care. 

 

Are you prepared to join OUTFOX and enlist your organization?

 

Why OUTFOX?

 

Too few infection control programs are successful.  There are many reasons that programs and initiatives fail.  Examples include: lack of program breadth, lack of communication, lack of funding, lack of follow up, lack of good messaging, lack of participation, lack of good ideas, lack of engaging activities, lack or measurement, lack of rewards, lack of consequences, lack of leadership and so forth.  From the example list provided, the two we find most crippling are the lack of program breadth and lack of participation.

 

An example of “lack of program breadth” may include the frequent hand washing campaigns that are initiated in healthcare organizations.  Although these campaigns are good for awareness, there is little to keep employees interested for long periods of time.  There should be an underlying and visible infection control program that supports these hand washing campaigns and outlives a day, week, or month of promotion.  As stated earlier, employees from the top to the bottom of the organization need to be continuously engaged in the cause.  There needs to be a “big picture” program to show everyone the vision of their efforts.  This lack of program breadth feeds the second most recognized problem, the lack of participation in infection control programs.

 

If there is not enough going on or nothing to continually motivate an employee, they will soon lose interest and not keep their commitments.  With a good underlying program and catchphrases that every employee understands, more traction will be gained with separate daily, weekly or monthly campaigns.  When everyone is shooting for a common goal with a common mindset, a hand washing or personal protective equipment campaign will be more successful. 

 

Analyze your organization’s infection control program.  Why is it not succeeding?  Most are not succeeding because they are not based on the underlying goals set for the organization.  Seek to get all of the small initiatives and campaigns aligned with the organization’s goals.  Using OUTFOX as a force to get all employees aligned has worked for other organizations and can work for you.  Contact OUTFOX Prevention for ways that you can get better results in your organization.  You can start by going to our website at www.OUTFOXprevention.com

 

In closing, many of the benefits of using the OUTFOX mindset have previously been shared, but there are higher purposes above and beyond organizational numbers, compliance goals and so forth.  By OUTFOXing disease and illness, an organization can help individuals reduce suffering and progress towards a better life.  That is the ultimate goal.

 

So, what have you done today to OUTFOX infection in your organization?


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