Computer screen saver

Contact information:

Erasmus University, University Medical Center Rotterdam

Onno K. Helder, netherlands@pasq.eu 

Originally developed by:

O. Helder, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Country of origin:

The Netherlands

Year of development:

2012

Last updated:

No

Next update:

No

Available in the following languages:

Dutch

Reason for not fulfilling the requirements:

Study protocol, no tool

Type of tool: tool for reminding staff in the workplace

Short description

In order to motivate health care workers to pay continuous attention to hand hygiene, a screen saver was put on computer displays as a communication vehicle. It replaces static posters. Computers were used by many health care workers, and were placed in high-traffic spots.
The screen saver messages included a 2-screen series with different messages that completed a cycle every 10 seconds. The messages were replaced by new messages after two weeks to maintain staff attention. The messages emphasized the need for improved adherence to hand hygiene protocols. Images were shown and titles were used to attract attention, and were designed to attract the instinctive altruistic motivation of staff 'to take good care'. Example: "by performing appropriate hand disinfection, you maintain good health for the infants you are caring for". And: "Don't take it personally. Your hands look fantastic, but you should disinfect your hands to maintain good health for the patients and yourself".

Target audience

All health care workers

Applicability (setting e.g. inpatient care, outpatient care, long term care etc.)

The tool was tested in a hospital setting, but might be beneficial for other settings as well.

Information on how the tool has been applied/tested in practice

Yes, tool had been applied and evaluated at the Erasmus MC - Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. All health care workers on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who had physical contact with the children were included in the study. The screen saver was put on computer displays placed in front of the desk as a communication vehicle. 

Results showed that the screen saver messages may have beneficial effects on the frequency of hand hygiene events, the introduction of the screen saver was associated with a change from a negative trend towards hand hygiene protocol compliance to a positive trend to protocol compliance. 

Results have been published: 
O.K. Helder, A.M. Weggelaar, D.C.J. Waarsenburg, C.W.N. Looman, J.B. van Goudoever, J. Brug and R.F. Kornelisse. Computer screen saver hand hygiene information curbs a negative trend in hand hygiene behavior. Americal Journal of Infection Control, 2012, 40(10):951-954.

Needed resources (financial, material, human)

Hardly any needed

Needed time for implementation

Can be used instantly

Strengths and limitations

Very simple to use; care should be taken to change the messages every two weeks to prevent desensitization to the messages.

Additional references

O.K. Helder, A.M. Weggelaar, D.C.J. Waarsenburg, C.W.N. Looman, J.B. van Goudoever, J. Brug and R.F. Kornelisse. Computer screen saver hand hygiene information curbs a negative trend in hand hygiene behavior. Americal Journal of Infection Control, 2012, 40(10):951-954.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019665531101323X

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