The Hygiene Mentor from a University hospital in Denmark shared her story about achieving 83% hand hygiene levels with the Sani Nudge solution and large reductions in hospital-acquired bloodstream infections. Thanks to effective strategies and leadership support, healthcare workers could double their compliance.
Focused feedback based on accurate data is key
The feedback was given based on the insights from the Sani Nudge solution with a focus on the areas with low hand hygiene compliance. The feedback followed a three-step process:
- Presentation of the results to generate awareness and ensure a continuous follow-up;
- Open discussion to facilitate knowledge distribution;
- A guided practice to focus on the most relevant areas of improvement.
A few months into the process, the focus was put on individualized feedback. Staff signed up via a mobile app to receive their own HHC information via a weekly e-mail report (Individual Motivation). Behavioral science studies have documented how important it is to be specific with data when you want to change habits. This was possible with Individual Motivation. Everyone stayed anonymous, and the user was the only one to view their hand hygiene level.
Psychological safety as an improvement driver
Having accurate data available at any moment was a key to establishing achievable goals and discussing results. Another important point to consider was the interaction between the Hygiene Mentor and healthcare workers. Some HCWs had difficulty achieving high compliance levels and therefore asked one of the Hygiene Mentors to watch them in situations and rooms with low compliance levels and give feedback on when their hand hygiene efforts could be strengthened. The observations revealed several issues with their hand hygiene practices and behavior. However, thanks to the Hygiene Mentor’s feedback, the HCWs were able to enhance their hand hygiene compliance levels.
Crucially, the Hygiene Mentor managed to create a relaxed and non-judgemental atmosphere around the hand hygiene practices, where she and her colleagues talked about it openly. Because of the psychological safety that was created at the workplace, healthcare workers felt motivated to improve.
“I pulled data at the weekend and the figure for the month was 83% – I’m just so proud of my colleagues and they get to know it, but they also get to know when they need to get their act together. In my experience, praise works best when it’s genuine. If the compliance number falls significantly, they will be told that their performance is going down”
– the Hygiene Mentor at a Danish University Hospital.
The impressive improvements resulted in significant reductions in hospital-acquired bloodstream infections and cost savings for the hospital.