How many men would respond to a hand-washing job aid?

International Clean Hands Week 2009 flyer

International Clean Hands Week 2009 flyer

I started this discussion with the idea that the proper placement of job aids is just as important as the existence of the job aid itself.  I asked: “How many men do you think will wash their hands after conducting business?  How many once they see the job aid?” 

That would mean that the Hand Washing Job Aid would need to be right by the door, not by the sinks, which runs the risk of the men just washing their hands as outlined in that same post. I suppose one could place the Germ-Jitzu poster on the door (or the International Clean Hands Week poster, pictured right) to remind the men to wash their hands, and then place the instructions poster by the sink.

Even so, my answer would still be: few.  And those that did would have been with their kids.

In the Top Ten Germy Jobs article, ABC News interviewed one computer tech guy who said that he cleaned everything he touched, and recommended that businesses invest in a cleaning service.  Again, I ask you to think of your computer tech people in your office.  Are they as fastidious? Or did ABC News manage to find the one guy in the industry to takes such precautions?

The students in the North Carolina University study had been informed that their cafeteria was ground zero for a stomach virus outbreak. Yet still 17% of them used the hand sanitizer provided at the cafeteria door.  We could challenge this study — perhaps they washed their hands in the bathroom before coming in.  Nobody says for sure in that article.

Even knowing that your computer keyboard can be a filthy harbinger of microbes and bacteria, are you about to clean off every one of those little keys at the same time you wipe down your desk?  What if I give you a job aid?

Throughout this week I’ve received repeated reminders that job aids serve as standards of  information, little more.  Providing knowledge is not the same as influencing behavior. Shoving information in one’s face is not the same thing as influencing behavior.  The information must be accompanied by something else to achieve the goal of behavior change. 

In the case of hand-washing, perhaps a call from one’s mother…?

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