Hand Hygiene in Healthcare featured on The Brain Box podcast in Denmark

On May 31, 2021, the Danish podcast The Brain Box, with host Peter Lund Madsen, explored the trending topic of hand hygiene in healthcare (Hjernekassen på P1: Hygiejne i sundhedsvæsenet). 

The event featured renowned behavioral author Morten Münster with Sani Nudge Medical Director Dr. Marco Bo Hansen. The podcast is a function of DR – Danmarks Radio.

Industry professionals in healthcare that tuned in coined the podcast as an “excellent broadcast” and “a pleasure to listen to.” The CEO of Sani Nudge, Theis Jensen, stated that “It was a really exciting broadcast. I recommend listening to the latest episode of the brain box!”

Discussion points included: 

  • What are the fatal consequences that inadequate hand hygiene has on the population?
  • What can be done to improve hygiene in healthcare? 
  • Why is it so difficult to make the right choices? 
  • How to change the behavior of professionals? 
  • How hospitals, nursing homes, and private companies can avoid mistakes in the hand hygiene space.

“Today, I was a guest on Peter Lund Madsen’s BrainBox on P1 to talk about behavior, infections, and hygiene. It was a fun and informative experience. I also hope you enjoyed listening to it and learned something new,” shared guest Sani Nudge Medical Director Dr. Marco Bo Hansen, on his experience with the podcast.

The corona pandemic has increased the public’s hand hygiene performance, but it is easy for us to fall into old routines and habits quickly. How do we ensure sustained good hand hygiene?

At least 3,000 patients die annually in Denmark due to hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). 20% of these deaths can be prevented by good hand hygiene. Additionally, the survivors of HAIs go through long admissions processes, undergo surgeries, and need antibiotic treatment. These impacts can result in multi-resistant bacteria – the biggest Global health threat that we are faced with.

Myth buster: Some regular practices for increasing hand hygiene performance, such as e-learning, posters, and stickers, do not change behavior in the long run due to a concept known as poster blindness. We have an incorrect assumption that information and knowledge will result in behavioral change. Instead, you need to be reminded of the situation. We can use data to analyze where the optimal way is to place alcohol-gel or soap dispensers.

Our brain wants to automate things to use as little energy as possible. However, this results in behavior that we do not think consciously about. Hand hygiene is an irrational behavior that does not come naturally to us.

The podcast also discussed:

  • Overconfidence bias
  • Social proof nudging
  • How to optimize behavior
  • Importance of management support
  • Emotional nudges – fear of COVID-19

Learn how hospitals and nursing homes have more than doubled their hand hygiene compliance and learn why the COVID-19 pandemic has not secured sustained good hand hygiene.

Do you or your organization have a clear strategy for where to place the hand sanitizing dispensers?

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