Hand Hygiene Compliance

Positive behaviour change through design.

Jason Hinds (Enware Australia)
Dr Don Campbell
Prof Mark Armstrong
Prof Daphne Flynn
Tina Dinh
Kieran John
Bronte Kereley
Richard Morfuni

Partner Organisation

The global cost of hospital acquired infection (HAI) is between USD$35.7–45 billion (Scott, 2009), and the World Health Organisation estimates that there are 80,000 deaths per year attributable to HAI in the United States alone (WHO, 2017). In perspective, HAI accounts for 5–10 percent of admission complications in developed countries and increases between two and twenty times in developing regions (WHO, 2017). A lack of compliance with hand hygiene procedures – by staff, patients, and visitors – is a leading contributor to the problem of HAI. Numerous approaches have sought to address hand hygiene compliance, including; education and awareness, monitoring, product and system improvements, environmental initiatives, and infrastructure (Pantle, Fitzpatrick, McLaws & Hughes, 2009). Yet the problem shows no signs of abating (Pincock, Bernstein, Warthman & Holst, 2012), and the burdens of HAI persist.

This project seeks to challenge mindsets within the hospital and how they direct human behaviour. Key design directions seek to improve underlying behavioural resistance to hand hygiene including poor risk recognition, accountability, traceability, and prioritisation. In this project we are working together with hospital staff to co-design ways to enhance hand hygiene compliance through tracking and communication. This project is undertaken with a private-sector partner Enware – a manufacturer of taps and soap dispensers for healthcare environments and our hospital partner, a major Australian hospital.