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Depictions of eye images and messages encouraging compliance with social norms have successfully motivated behavioral change in a variety of experimental and applied settings. We studied the effect of these 2 visual cues on hand hygiene adherence in a cohort of hospital-based healthcare providers participating in an electronic monitoring and feedback program.
Prospective, quasi-experimental study utilizing an interrupted time-series design. Intervention placards depicting an image of eyes, a social norms message, or a control placard were placed near soap and alcohol-based hand-rub dispensers on 2 hospital units. Placards were alternated every 10 days. Hand hygiene opportunities and adherence rates were assessed electronically via the CenTrak Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution.
A total of 166 nurses and certified nursing assistants (74 on a medical-surgical unit and 92 on a progressive care unit) were monitored electronically over the 4-month study period. In total, 184,172 electronic observations were collected (110,903 on a medical-surgical unit and 73,269 on a progressive care unit). The median daily number of electronic observations was 1,471 (interquartile range, 1,337–1,584). The preintervention baseline hand hygiene adherence rate was 70%. No statistically significant increase in hand hygiene adherence was observed as a result of either intervention.
Displaying eye images or a social norms message in the hospital environment did not result in measurable improvements in HH adherence in a cohort of healthcare providers participating in an electronic monitoring and feedback program.