tbt: the art of making hand hygiene fun, attractive, and effective

One of the biggest problems hospitals face is having visitors comply with hand washing standards upon entering and exiting the hospital. Even though signage and sanitizer dispensers may be present, it’s still a challenge to communicate the importance of proper hand hygiene action in a effort to minimize the spread of bacteria and germs.

In 2009, Germgo Media designed and marketed a new solution to help increase hand washing rates and compliancy with their hand sanitizing station. The station featured highly visible educational signage, 4 dispensers, a shelf to place belongings, and the ability to strategically place stations in high traffic zones. This was a game changer for hand hygiene in hospitals and by 2015, Germgo had stations in almost 50 hospitals in Ontario.

Through Jamie’s involvement with Germgo Media, he pitched a new idea to Germgo Media president, Reg Littlefield, about launching a province wide traveling clean hands challenge event that would take place at hospitals province wide. It was something that hadn’t been done before, but Jamie knew he had the vision and expertise to pull this off.

The non-for-profit event, named the Clean Hand Challenge, was born in 2014, but there was a lot of work and coordination to do before it could launch. One of the fundamental ideas behind the event was to bring an element of interactiveness, fun, and vibrance to hand hygiene education, which is typically seen as the opposite. The design elements to support the event had to be light, fun, approachable, friendly, and be playful. The logo featured a soaring proud hand, colorful germs, with a liquid splash. The station featured a digital counter, which would increase in number every time a visitor used the sanitizer dispenser. Signage was employed to communicate key messages from the event and to encourage visitors to bring the experience online by hash tagging user photos on social media. Visitors would receive a choice of purple, orange, or green sticker upon participating as a “Verified Clean Hands” participant, allowing visitors to feel a sense of pride and part of something grander.

Clean Hands Challenge ambassadors were on hand at each event to speak to visitors about hand hygiene, encourage participation, and to demonstrate proper techniques for hand cleaning. Their presence elevated the energy and brought smiles to the faces of many during each event, enhancing the user experience and impact.

Between 2014-2015, the event had traveled to over 20 hospitals and had various positive press coverage. Each hospital was extremely pleased with the execution and felt it was a success and brought awareness and education to hand hygiene that had never been done before.

See more about this project here.

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