Project: How Do We Get Doctors to Wash Their Hands?

Medical professionals are always forgetting to wash up before dealing with patients. How would you remind them?

Despite decades of warnings about infection, many doctors and nurses across the country continue to not wash their hands before interacting with patients. One recent study showed that medical workers were washing their hands in only one out of every four situations that required it, leading to the mass spread of infection across American hospitals. Every year, two million patients come down with an infection in a U.S. hospital, and about 100,000 of them end up dying from that infection.

The New York Times last month ran a blog post about the myriad ways people have tried—and failed—to remind doctors and nurses to wash their hands, one of which literally involves hall monitors patrolling hospitals and reprimanding people for not soaping up. We figured there has to be a better way, and we're asking you to come up with it.

Devise a system to drastically improve the number of times medical professionals are washing their hands while working, thus preventing infection and saving thousands of lives.

Create a visual or written plan that depicts how you intend to get more doctors and nurses washing. It can be a picture, a diagram, a couple paragraphs, anything. It can be as general or as specific as you wish, but whatever you come up with should be engaging and clear.

Submit your plan here. It can be in any format if it's an image, but ideally it should be of a high enough resolution that it can be printed at 300 dpi. We’ll take submissions now through June 1.

We'll be awarding the best overall plan with a GOOD T-shirt and free subscription (or gift subscription) based on overall quality of the plan, relevance to the theme, and practicality.