Hand hygiene-related screen savers may boost compliance: 5 study findings

Many hospitals post hand hygiene reminders outside patient rooms or above sinks, but a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control suggests hospitals can boost compliance by displaying hand hygiene messages on screen savers as well.

Based on previous literature, researchers developed scientific propositions for the design of screen savers, exploring two strategies to subconsciously influence hand hygiene behavior: designs aimed at getting attention and designs aimed at exerting peer pressure. The researchers tested reactions to the screen savers using eye-tracking and a questionnaire, comparing reactions to the newly designed screen savers with a control screen saver.

Here are five takeaways from the study.

1. All total, 25 scientific propositions for gaining attention concerned the format and color of the screen saver itself and color, position and style of visual and text elements.

2. Seven propositions for peer pressure concerned the influence of peers, role models and feelings of being watched.

3. Ultimately, eye-tracking measurements found text on the four screen savers based on propositions gained more, earlier and longer attention than the control screen savers.

4. The visual elements gained earlier and longer attention than the control screen savers.

5. The questionnaires revealed feelings of peer pressure were evoked by three screen savers; of these, only one was not based on the scientific propositions.

Given the results of the study, the authors concluded that screen savers designed using scientific propositions for visual attention and peer pressure "have the potential to alter hand hygiene behavior."



More articles on hand hygiene:
Nurses face three times as many hand hygiene opportunities as physicians, study finds
Good skin health- the hidden factor in hand hygiene compliance
Good hand hygiene key in slowing down antibiotic resistance

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