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Handwashing: Data to the Rescue

Mike Mann's picture

Electronic monitoring of handwashing reveals the risky reality

Suspected low handwashing rates are increasingly being confirmed with the aid of electronics. Potential brand damaging outbreaks threaten healthcare foodservice and restaurants but this recurring under-washed condition is rarely the topic of C-Suite discussions.

Healthcare and Foodservice share a concern about handwashing and both consistently look to on-site training to keep their handwashing rates at a safe level. Predictably, they “keep doing what they have been doing and get more of what they’ve got” – rates at less than 50% of what they themselves consider safe.

Electronic tracking technologies have lighted a path to determine actual handwash frequency. Leading healthcare facilities are taking a fresh look at their risk of underwashed hands. There is a growing realization that there is a training ceiling.

A change of focus from on-site training to summoning C-Suite leadership opens the door to sustainable hand cleanliness solutions. Decades of low handwashing have lulled leadership into a false sense of security. Handwashing is not a topic of senior management meetings and rarely shows up in the top five priorities in strategic plans or annual budgets.

The solution? Get data. Facts wake up busy uninformed executives. Facts establish risk.