Monday, November 21, 2016

Satisfice! Let It Be So in Infection Prevention.

Herbert Simon- Nobel Laureate
Lately I have been obsessed with implementation science, heightened safety, infection prevention and high reliability. Those close to me have heard me talk repeatedly about solutions that 'satisfice', a term coined by the late Nobel Laureate, Herbert Simon

Satisfice comes from the fusion of two words, satisfy and suffice. Satisficing is a decision making strategy that seeks solutions that are 'good enough'- satisfactory and sufficient for a more realistic world.

We continue to implement many evidence based strategies in infection prevention- hand hygiene, chlorhexidine patient bathing, automated urinary catheter discontinuation orders, central line checklists, and deployment of UVC touchless cleaning technologies. How certain are we that the measures are implemented?

We are unable to ideally observe, document, feedback and cross-check implementation of all strategies as it is physically and logistically not feasible.

Using designated staff and /or electronic data mining, we are able to generate reasonable, automated and scheduled point prevalence reports on nearly all process of care measures and technology deployments. Assessment drives performance and leads to improvement in practice. All of our patient centered infection control outcomes continue to improve.

Infection prevention science must play out in the real world. 

Real life challenges require solutions that satisfice.

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