Encouraging hospital visitors to use hand disinfectant

Note: analysis based on my Behavioral Orchestration and Analysis framework explained here.


Nudging Hospital Visitors’ Hand Hygiene Compliance


  • Reducing Hospital-acquired-infections by increasing the proportion of visitors to relatives staying at hospitals that use the hand sanitizers available.

Changes implemented

Choice Architecture

Contextual persuasion and copy elements
  • added a red sign to the hand sanitizers. The ones installed are blending in the background and not being salient.
  • used the following copy to convince of use: “Here we use HAND DISINFECTANT in order to protect your relative”.
Choice ergonomics and usability; user experience
  • Placement of hand sanitizers: they are normally placed above the sinks, which is both late in the user journey and is not visible unless a visitor wants to wash its hands. They added hand sanitizers near the entrance to have them visible upon arrival.


  • From 3% visitors using the hand sanitizers in the baseline situation, to 20% using them with new placement used 67% using them by using both new placement and new red color sign.


  • Sample used is very low, so not sure that’s a reliable study in itself.
  • That said, nudges used here are quite obvious, but also demonstrate how very simple nudges can also be impactful if the results are to be believed.