How Can Behavioral Science Improve Hand Hygiene?

How Can Behavioral Science Improve Hand Hygiene?

Share this article:

Is there a driving force behind the decisions we make? Can behavioral science improve hand hygiene practices? Behavioral science focuses on the way humans interact with the world and the cognitive processes that drive those action. For manufacturers, understanding these decision-making processes can help with product design and in-store placement. A famous example of this can be seen in the check-out lanes of your local grocery store. Various candy, gum, and chip companies have realized that by placing their products near check-out lanes, directly in the sight of children increases sales dramatically.

For the Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program, behavioral science has provided a way to influence healthy hand hygiene practices. Working with Dr. Adam Alter, a Behavioral Scientist, Symmetry has developed the Symmetry Behavior Modification System (SBMS), a set of unique, cost-effective tools, based on six key tenets, designed to inspire hand hygiene compliance.

Each SBMS tool is inspired by six key tenets, benevolence, responsibility, accountability, variation, emotion, and direction. Colored dispensers can provide variation, drawing attention to hand hygiene opportunities. Symmetry’s messaged and mirrored placards can inspire benevolence, responsibly, accountability, and emotion, triggering the desire to wash or sanitize hands. Symmetry also provides floor decals to guide users towards hand sanitizers and hand washes.

Some other SBMS tools include features like motion detection and video displays. The Symmetry Visual Lighting Cue (VLC) can help dramatically increase hand hygiene compliance. The VLC flashes an amber or red light to draw attention to the dispenser, reminding people to practice hand hygiene. Similarly, the Symmetry Behavioral Beacon uses emoticon light projections to trigger a response. The Behavioral Beacon has the ability to project thumbs up, smiley face, and heart emoticons.

The new Symmetry MOTIV placard is a digital behavioral driver that uses motion and sound to trigger a response to take action. With one GB of memory and a ten-hour run time, MOTIV uses imagery and variation to keep messaging fresh all day long.

Symmetry’s numerous tools give all facilities the options they need to increase healthy hand hygiene practices among guests and staff. Contact your Symmetry representative to discover which SBMS tools are right for your facility.