Blog | Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A handwashing nudge

As a hospital epidemiologist, I'm always looking for ways to nudge people to wash their hands. Nudges guide a person to do the right thing (i.e., encourage compliance) without a mandate. Here's the latest one, which was featured by NPR yesterday: the sink-urinal. This allows men to pee in the bottom part of the fixture and wash their hands in the top. It provides a constant reminder to wash your hands. It's environmentally friendly as it uses gray water (from the sink) to flush the urinal. Plus, it comes in an assortment of colors; what more could you ask for?

Michael B. Edmond, MD, FACP, is a hospital epidemiologist in Richmond, Va., with a focus on understanding why infections occur in the hospital and ways to prevent these infections, and sees patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings. This post originally appeared at the blog Controversies in Hospital Infection Prevention.