Keywords: decision-making, rationality, nudges, hand hygiene.
Human choices do not usually arise as the logical consequences of stable preferences and beliefs, as it has been traditionally assumed. Insights into the quirks and limitations of human rationality can help us improve decision outcomes by the design of suitable nudges, non-coercive changes of the choice context which exploits inherent tendencies of agents in order to promote beneficial outcomes. Nudging strategies have been recently applied in many domains, including healthcare, and hand hygiene in the hospital is one of the most interesting areas where various interventions investigated are best understood as nudges. We discuss the rationale and effectiveness of various nudging interventions to improve hand hygiene compliance rates among healthcare professionals in hospital settings. We also present the methodology and the initial results of an experiment conducted at the San Giovanni Bosco Hospital in Turin (Italy).