Innovation@: Biometric Employee Hand Washing Verification System

According to a study by Michigan State University only 5% of people wash their hands properly. Other studies have shown that 62% of restaurant workers don’t wash their hands after handling raw beef and hospital workers wash their hands as little as 30 percent of the time they interact with patients. This is a problem for all businesses but especially businesses in the food service and health care industries.

Currently there are a few companies that sell systems which allow employers to monitor their employee’s hand washing practices. One method of achieving this is with a wireless network that allows employee badges to wirelessly communicate with networked soap dispensers. Another way of tracking hand washing practices is with old fashioned video monitoring. Motion sensors activate cameras that send video to a company whose workers watch to see who’s washing their hands properly and who isn’t. This system offers employers an effective way of tracking employee hand washing compliance.

Both of these systems enable employers to effectively track employee hand washing compliance. But what if biometric cameras could more accurately track hand washing compliance at a lower cost? Biometric cameras could determine who did and who didn’t wash their hands and keep a record of it all. Blind spots could be programmed into the cameras so employee privacy could be protected. The camera’s software would be the most important aspect of these cameras but the exponential growth in technology makes such an idea possible in the future if not already achievable.