It's Time to Upgrade Your Handwashing

Handwashing. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Just like tying your shoe laces or riding a bike, you learned it young, you learned it well, and you don’t need to be taught ever again. But you’re a smart reader and you know that nothing is that simple, especially if it feels that obvious… 

 1 in 6 Americans will suffer from food borne illness

1 in 6 Americans will suffer from food borne illness

In reality, 1 in 6 Americans will suffer from food borne illness, 1 in 25 Americans will suffer from a hospital acquired infection, and three quarters of these cases will originate from poor handwashing. Cumulatively, these infections account for more than 1 million hospitalizations and almost 80,000 deaths a year, all of which could be mitigated by placing greater emphasis on regular and thorough handwashing.  Now that seems like a problem worth solving.

Handwashing faces many challenges, but experts tend to break these down into two categories: challenges with compliance and challenges with efficacy. In the case of compliance, we can see signals of our efforts to address it everywhere from the widespread use of hand sanitizer across the medical and food industry, to the more obvious “all employees must wash hands” signs. These are important steps towards increasing compliance.

 It is recommended to wash for 20 seconds and to scan with PathSpot before preparing food

It is recommended to wash for 20 seconds and to scan with PathSpot before preparing food

But getting people to regularly wash their hands is only half the battle (if that).

The CDC and FDA both cite poor handwashing as a major health priority, not only because it’s the “do-it-yourself vaccine” but also because studies find that barely 3% of Americans wash their hands properly. That means that at least 9 times out of 10 simply making sure somebody washes their hands just isn’t enough. We need a way to track compliance and check for efficacy at the same time.

The PathSpot HandScanner is just that solution. Initially developed as an answer to the headlines of food borne illness outbreaks, PathSpot uses fluorescent light spectroscopy as a way to detect the presence of contaminants and leverages a suite of data analytics to provide actionable insights behind the scenes. The HandScanner, which mounts on a wall near handwashing stations, serves as a check to food service professionals who can verify the cleanliness of their hands prior to returning to work- all in less than 3 seconds!

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Not only would PathSpot let you check cleanliness (for the first time), but it also records every instance of handwashing, so that you can always find out if an incident is caused by compliance or by efficacy. This level insight will allow managers and store owners to make smarter more informed decisions about how they approach food safety as well as address persistent issues they may have otherwise been unaware of.


PathSpot Technologies is currently accepting requests for demos. Click here if you are interested.

Dutch Waanders