Current Infectious Disease Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 544–548

Positive Deviance: A New Tool for Infection Prevention and Patient Safety


    • Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert EinsteinHospital Israelita Albert Einstein
  • Oscar Fernando Pavão dos Santos
    • Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein
  • Miguel Cendoroglo Neto
    • Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein
  • Michael B. Edmond
    • Internal MedicineVirginia Commonwealth University
Healthcare Associated Infections (G Bearman and M Stevens, Section Editors)

DOI: 10.1007/s11908-013-0372-y

Cite this article as:
Marra, A.R., Pavão dos Santos, O.F., Cendoroglo Neto, M. et al. Curr Infect Dis Rep (2013) 15: 544. doi:10.1007/s11908-013-0372-y


Positive deviance (PD) may have an important role in infection prevention and patient safety in the hospital. There are many descriptions of successful stories of PD in different sectors from public health to education to business. PD has been applied in the healthcare setting to improve hand hygiene compliance, reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and reduce bloodstream infections in an outpatient hemodialysis center. PD promotes dialogue among leaders, managers and healthcare workers, which is a key factor in establishing a safety culture. It also enables cultural changes aimed at empowering frontline workers (the positive deviants) to innovate and improve compliance with infection prevention measures. The structure and the process of PD, and its ability to offer a space for experience discussions, changing ideas and making plans that emerge from team participation will also be discussed.


LeadershipComplianceInitiativePositive deviantSolutionsInnovation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013