by Tori L. Whitacre, Infection Control Today
two women smiling

Emojitoons are hints, guidance, or rules to help health care workers [HCW] remember key infection prevention and control (IPC) practices with avatars of employees. The idea came from Mary Scott, RN, MSN-CIC, Infection Prevention Director, and Robin Ward, Infection Prevention Coordinator, of Grand Strand Medical Center. Two years ago, they attempted to increase their medical staff’s compliance of IPC practices, and they were not getting the results they wanted. Eventually, Scott and Ward chose the emojitoons because they can help their employees retain a small amount of information at a time.

During their interview with Infection Control Today®, Scott and Ward explain where the emojitoons came from, the various topics they have covered, and what the response has been from the health care workers at GSMC. The emojitoons have covered many topics including using green clips for IVs, covering linens to keep them clean, and the importance of labeling IVs.

Emojitoon - of two healthcare providers

“Our emojitoons are just a fan favorite,” Scott said. “[They] make it a lot easier for [the topic] to sink in. By only giving [the HCW] a little bit to remember a week, it helps them retain it a lot more than if you throw a lot of information at them at once.”

The emojitoons include avatars based on employees of GSMC. However, Ward is careful to create them so no one seems to be blamed or singled out. “I don’t want anyone to think, ‘They are blaming me for doing something wrong.’” Ward explains that the emojitoons only make learning the topic easier if the HCW can personalize it by seeing avatars of people they know.

Emojitoon of bald man wearing mask in laundry room

The emojitoons are supposed to be fun and make it easy to remember the topic, like the green clips. Before the emojitoons, “I don’t even think that most people knew what the green clips were for.”

Scott and Ward told ICT® they have many more ideas for emojitoons, and they will continue to create them as long as they help improve compliance. They may even consider publishing a book to help other health care facilities with issues they are having as well.