Innovation Snapshot
Innovator:W21C Research and Innovation Centre, University of Calgary
Location:Calgary, Alberta

Art Meets Hand Hygiene

Compliance for good hand hygiene is critical in reducing transmission of hospital acquired infections. To increase compliance and encourage frequent use of alcohol-based rub dispensers, a team of W21C researchers worked with Emily Carr University of Art + Design to develop an innovative, effective and low-cost system to collect and visualize data related to the use of alcohol-based rub dispensers.

This interactive design technology was used as an audiovisual reward, a positive reinforcement for using the dispenser. The results were increased hand hygiene awareness.

  • A study showed that 75 per cent of interviewed Alberta Children’s Hospital staff and patient families indicated that the system increased their awareness of hand hygiene, while 92 per cent of participants agreed it was a helpful reminder for others to practise hand hygiene.

The technology is globally scalable and culturally adaptable with its easy-to-install design that can make use of locally sourced parts and visualizations that can be modified to be culturally significant.

“Merging science with art and interactive design enables us to come up with out-of-the box solutions that could be implemented into clinical environments,” says Dr. John Conly, the principal investigator on the project.

More information and a video can be found by visiting: