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Understanding What Motivates Health Care Works Crucial to Reducing C. diff Rates


Barley Chironda, RPN, CIC, infection control specialist at Clorox Healthcare, stresses that understanding what motivates health care workers’ actions is crucial for reducing C. diff rates in hospitals.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“Despite continuously having many interventions, rates of Clostridium difficile don’t seem to be improving. Some of the things that I think are happening right now that prevent those rates from declining despite multiple interventions is I think that we are missing the fact that some of these processes still rely on human beings to do the work. The human responsibility is open to vulnerability. When a person gets tired, he/she might not do the right thing. When a person is rushed, he/she might not to the right thing. When a person has too many patients, he/she might not do the right thing. And all of these factors? That’s what the day-to-day life of a health care worker looks like.

If you really think about it—we’re missing the mark, yet we know the things that we need to do. And so, I think there needs to be more focus on how to get people to do the right thing and actually understanding what the motivators are and how to help them in taking away those barriers that are preventing them from doing the right thing.

In the case of C. difficile, we know from the guidance documents that you need to use a sporicidal agent. But then, sometimes people forget to use it. And then when you do a deeper dive, you realize that maybe sometimes it’s not available at the time that the person is in the room. When you start diving deeper, there are so many layers to consider, but I think that work needs to be done because as you do that, you fix each step of the way. And so, it comes down to understanding human beings and how they act in order to minimize infection.”
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