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How alert hospital employees improved hospital's MSRA infection rate
Date:6/13/2012

A better way to improve organizations using overlooked employee talent has taken a top award from a notable management group. Marguerite Schneider, an associate professor in NJIT School of Management, is the co-author of "Leadership a Complex Adaptive System: Insights from Positive Deviance." Curt Lindberg, of Complexity Partners, Bordentown, NJ, was her co-author.

The paper received the 2012 Best Paper Award from the Organization Development and Change Division of the Academy of Management. It will be presented in August at the organization's annual meeting in Boston and published in the Academy's Best Paper Proceedings. Sage Publications, United Kingdom, also accepted a more detailed article developed from the research project for publication next year in its journal Leadership.

The research focus resulted from a long-term project to reduce the Staphylococcus aureus (MSRA) infection at Maine Medical Center through an organizational change technique, known as "Positive Deviance." It had been clear for some time that the transmission rate of infectious diseases can be reduced by frequent hand washing and other obvious techniques. Yet, complicated patient care issues and policy along with power differentials (such as hospital staff who witness doctors neglecting to wash their hands but fear the doctor's wrath for pointing this out) are among the hurdles to overcome in reducing this deadly infection.

"Our theory was that good people who are accomplishing excellent results already exist in organizations and can become wonderful agents of change," says Schneider. "But oftentimes their accomplishments remain unknown. We wrote this paper to call attention to the good work that is already being done, but is either unnoticed or unappreciated. My hope is to encourage more people to look more deeply within their own organizations to effectuate positive change."

The technique is based on the applic
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Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
Sheryl.M.Weinstein@NJIT.edu
973-596-3436
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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