Clearing to Zero

Part of infection control and setting up behaviours is “staging” the right behaviour. Another way to think about it is setting up a process “slide” so that there is no friction at all. Think about how absurdly easy it is to buy something from Amazon. They have removed as many roadblocks as possible between you and a completed purchase. Think about how much more you use a contactless card than you would if you had to write a cheque. If you’ve used the Tube lately, think how easy it is to breeze through with a contactless credit card. I never walk anywhere in London now! This is all about removing friction and making the very easiest thing to do the thing you most desire people to do. One way to do this is to “clear to zero”.

Stage each room in your house in its “zero state”. This just means everything is put away in the right place and everything has been cleaned. Take a picture. Identify the key points and repeat them to the carers, showing them the picture. You might want to put the photo up on the wall somewhere (inside a cupboard door). Try to persuade carers to leave each room like this at the end of their shift. I’ve had limited success with this to be honest, but we get over halfway there over half the time, which is better than nothing.

I’m copy-pasting this from our internal wiki (a whole other post), so this next is addressed to carers:

Each room in the house has a Zero State. This is what it looks like when everything has been put away in the right place and it is clean and tidy. Remember, Stuart can’t put anything away himself. It’s up to you.

If you leave things on the floor, he can’t move them or see them; he will drive over them. The wheelchair weighs 428 pounds. Whatever you leave on the floor will be destroyed. Pick everything up off the floor.

If you don’t put things back in the right place, Stuart can’t tell the next person where his things are. Put everything back.

A lot of Stuart’s equipment is very expensive and we can’t replace it easily. If you leave it on the side, it may get broken. Put it away safely. If you break something, tell him. We have insurance but you need to tell us.

At the end of your shift, or on your way out of the house, ask yourself if each room is cleared to zero.

Zero Bedroom

  • Nothing at all on the floor
  • Side tables both slid away and covers are up
  • Doors and drawers are all closed
  • Hoist is down on window seat and plugged in
  • Nothing else at all on window seat except cushions
  • Laptop chargers and extensions are removed from plugs and put in charging cupboard
  • iPod, phone, etc are in charging cupboard on charge if applicable
  • Bed is made
  • Clothes are put away

Zero Kitchen

  • Nothing at all on the floor
  • Nothing at all on kitchen worktop except hotcup and coffee machine
  • Nothing at all in sink
  • One clean tea towel on hook
  • One clean yellow cloth on sink
  • Nothing at all on kitchen table, benches, or chairs
  • Shoes in the shoe box
  • Coats and bags on the cloak hooks

Zero Bathroom

  • Nothing at all on the floor (except toilet brush)
  • Handwash and alcogel only on sink
  • Loo roll on corner of bath (no empty tubes)
  • Any toiletries in toiletry cage on wall or in cupboard
  • Wash-bowls in bath
  • Bleach on windowsill

Zero Sitting Room

  • Nothing at all on the floor
  • Nothing at all on the furniture except cushions
  • Nothing at all on the long upholstered bench except an empty, clean tray
  • The wheelchair is parked next to the yellow chair
  • The log store is stacked with logs and kindling (paper/cardboard) only
  • Ignore the desk