"If Parkland Hospital had been a fast-food restaurant, inspectors would have closed it down and strapped the doors shut with yellow biohazard tape," writes HealthLeaders Media's John Commins.
Yikes. Even my five-year-old cousin remembers to scrub her hands with soap and water after getting dirty. What will it take to make physicians and other hospital staff remember wash their hands and change soiled bed sheets? A solution to the non-compliance problem may lay in hospital signage that appeals to human behavior.
Hand hygiene compliance rises significantly when hospital signage encourages healthcare professionals to consider the safety of their patients rather than themselves, according to a study in Psychological Science.
The It's Not All About Me: Motivating Hospital Hand Hygiene by Focusing on Patients, study involved posting one of three signs at 66 hand-washing stations at several hospitals:
Of the three messages, the one that put the focus on patient safety was found to be most effective. The study measured soap dispenser volumes over two weeks and found that staff used 33% more soap when the signage emphasized patient safety.