Positive Deviance is an extraordinary method for implementing change within an organization or community. This method did not make it into the last edition of The Change Handbook, so rather than wait for the third edition I wanted to get the information out about this powerful method. It's a particularly useful method for tackling complex, thorny problems that don't seem to want to go away.
This method was used by both Albert Einstein Medical Center and Billings Hospital to lower the rates of an often-deadly infection known as MRSA in their hospital facilities. The spread of MRSA can be difficult to control, and it's just now beginning to catch the general public's eye. Last year it killed over 20,000 people. That's more people than died from AIDS in a one-year timeframe.
Within an 24-month timeframe these two hospital facilities dramatically cut their MRSA infections. Albert Einstein Medical Center reduced their MRSA infections by 38%. Billings Hospital reduced theirs by 88%. This white paper provides a briefing on how Albert Einstein Medical Center did it.