As the Chipotle E. coli O26 outbreak(s) creep(s) into its second month, I found myself thinking and talking today about Bill Keene, former Epidemiologist Extraordinaire at the Oregon Department of Public Health. Somehow, I have to think that with the use of his “shotgun” questionnaire, we would have figured out by now what the what is that has caused this outbreak. My hope is that CDC, et al are utilizing Bill Keene’s Keys to Interviewing Success and Ten Cardinal Rules for Conducting Interviews:
Bill Keene’s Keys to Interviewing Success
• Keep the interview as conversational and as natural as possible while staying in the confines of the questionnaire.
• Show empathy to the interviewee.
• Explain what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Ten Cardinal Rules for Conducting Interviews
1. Do a practice run until you’re comfortable with the questionnaire
2. Find a quiet place to conduct your interviews
3. Be non-judgmental
4. Avoid leading the witness
5. Accurately record what people say
6. Ensure confidentiality, beginning with conducting interviews in a private location
7. Gently re-direct, as needed
8. Probe if answers are vague, particularly about time of symptom onset
9. Work with epidemiology staff to provide language interpretation, if needed
10. Thank interviewee at closing and explain how info will be used
Bill, you are missed.