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Positive Deviance as an Improvement Approach

Date: September 30, 2013
Filed under: Quality Café, Sharpen Your Skills, Webinar


We talk a lot about how culture shifts need to occur for improvement efforts to truly make impacts and become sustainable. But how can you change culture? Positive Deviance is an approach that can help.

This ‘Ask an Expert’ Quality Café was recorded on September 27, 2013. Participants learned how 3 different sites used Positive Deviance to improve hand hygiene compliance, and you’ll have plenty of time throughout the webinar to ask them questions so that you can translate their techniques to your site’s unique needs.

This webinar’s content is appropriate for those who are:

  • curious about Positive Deviance
  • wanting to know more about how to incorporate Positive Deviance into improvement work,
  • beginning improvement work, but need some help and advice
  • familiar with Positive Deviance and looking to share their successes!

So bring your improvement initiatives, success stories and questions – this is a great opportunity to ask an expert.

How does Positive Deviance work?

Positive Deviance is based on the observation that in every community there are certain individuals or groups (positive deviants) whose unusual behaviors and clever ideas enable them to find better solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems than their peers, while having access to the same resources and facing similar or worse challenges.

The Positive Deviance approach taps into the creative wisdom and social assets of your unique community enabling the community to discover these successful behaviors and strategies and develop a local plan of action to promote their adoption by all concerned. This approach works well with our complex healthcare organizations in making our changes sustainable as it will build tight social networks.

Catherine O’Donnell
Quality Improvement Consultant at Royal Columbian Hospital

Melissa Crump
Infection Control Practitioner – Vancouver General Hospital

Missy Blackburn 
Infection Control Practitioner – Kelowna General Hospital