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Hand hygiene is critical in preventing hospital acquired infection. Through human-centered design we have taken a holistic approach to redesigning hand hygiene safety. The Hand Hygiene Management system assists health care facilities’ transition from enforced and indiscernible hand hygiene compliance to one where sustainable hand hygiene behaviour is second-nature.
Challenge: Over time with the advancement of technology and awareness, there have been numerous approaches to address the issue of hand hygiene. However, the problem shows no signs of abating and the socio-economic burden of Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI) persists. Through design-led research, we identified the symptomatic issues that exacerbate the problem and employed human-centered design to inform our solution. While the causes of sub-optimal hand hygiene are complex, a foundational problem is mindset and its influence on human behaviour. Our challenge was applying design as an approach to enhancing hand hygiene experiences, changing mindsets and creating long-term sustainable behaviours.
Solution: The Hand Hygiene Management system was co-designed between industry partners, university researchers and medical practitioners. It is a holistic, human-centred system designed to promote sustainable hand hygiene behaviours, improve hand hygiene compliance, and reduce infection management to ensure a safe patient experience. It combines an interactive clinical wash station with smart sanitizer dispensers, and personal identification and feedback technology, providing real time hand hygiene monitoring of the clinical environment while creating a sentry around the patient. The system informs individual clinicians about their performance and gamifies the data to enact immediate improvements while driving long-lasting behavioural change.
Impact: This system will reduce human suffering, illness, and death by reducing infection transmission within healthcare settings; particularly relevant during and after a pandemic. It also has the effect of improving the social circumstances for clinicians since the burden of HAIs can fall to them. By monitoring and visualising the problem, we are looking to empower clinicians ability to ensure a safe patient experience and improve health outcomes. Health systems are struggling to adequately fund their essential services which are continually burdened further through preventable HAI re-admissions. We hope to re-direct these efforts to enhance health-care services and improve patient experiences.
More: The Hand Hygiene Management System is easy to use and deploy within existing infrastructure. Our new stand-alone clinical wash station is designed to prevent infectious bacterial growth with easy to clean single wipe surfaces, extended waste trap reducing waste bacteria traveling to the sink, thermostatic water temperature control and automatic stagnation flushing. Through the use of our smart ID wearable device, it recognises approaching clinicians and tailors the hand wash experience to suit personal preferences. This includes the comfort of the water temperature, to personalised welcome and visual messaging, live news feeds and performance reporting displayed on its interactive screen. This screen also provides live animated guidance of correct hand washing processes and displays the length of wash time, which is discreetly monitored in real-time. Our holistic system makes an invisible problem visible. The wash station together with a team of connected smart sanitizer devices act as virtual gates into safe patient zones, monitoring hand hygiene activities around the patient. The system tracks performance with hand hygiene compliance data directed into a cloud network for analysis and feedback issuing personalized interactions delivered back through a dedicated Hand hygiene app that educates, gamifies, and reinforces positive behaviour change.