Thursday, June 26, 2014

do it clean

Fellow behavioural enthusiasts will no doubt be familiar with the Fogg Behaviour model.

Just in case you're not, it was developed by BJ Fogg founder of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University.

Amongst other accolades his model was selected by the World Economic Forum as their framework for health behaviour change in 2011.

At its core the model describes how three elements must come together at about the same time in order for a behaviour to occur: motivation, ability and a trigger.

Therefore the propensity for a behaviour to happen increases dramatically when one is highly motivated to attempt the behaviour (either as an individual or in a social context) and it's an easy behaviour to actually do.

With that in mid we were delighted with this simple behavioural design innovation that would go some way to solving a common problem in hospitals.

Apparently about 1 in 20 patients in U.S. hospitals get some form of unnecessary infection during their stay in hospital, adding re-treatment costs of up to $40bn every year.

There's even an acronym for it - HAI (Hospital Acquired Infection) - MRSA is probably one of the more salient nasty examples.

A lot of this problem can be attributed to the spread of infection from hands that are not properly clean. Even with the best intentions it is reported that doctors and nurses only sanitise about half the time.

The common solution - wall mounted hand-sanitiser dispensers at entries and exits - are proving to be less effective than it was hoped.

With other, more pressing things on their mind, staff, patients and visitors simply forget to use them, or do not notice them.

So what’s the solution?

Make it automatic, make it easy.

How about combining the behaviour of sanitising with a behaviour hospital workers do every day?

Like opening doors (trigger).

Pull Clean has been developed by London studio The Agency of Design and was brought to our attention via the OgilvyChange newsletter.

Which leads us to our second medical facility design problem, and perhaps this prototype - developed for Nanjing hospital, capital of Jiangsu province in China to aid the extraction of sperm from infertility patients - by way of contrast, fails the behavioural design model test somewhat.

Designed for patients for whom the the old-fashioned method of letting-loose-the-juice was difficult we're inclined to think that only the more adventurous patients will have sufficient motivation to give this a go - bearing in mind that the environment in which a behaviour is expected to occur contributes significantly to both the motivation and ability of the subject to perform - and how this is easier than the manual method is difficult to fathom.

Perhaps some of the same behavioural design thinking that went into PullClean could improve this other pull problem?