Shanina Knighton is a PhD, RN with significant clinical experience related to hand hygiene. This is her idea for a team project.
For decades, consumer hand washing in public settings has been noted as a public health problem, particularly in public bathrooms. Public bathrooms are one of the most common places you can contract harmful bacteria and viruses. When done correctly, hand washing is the easiest and most important way to prevent contracting or spreading germs. Unfortunately, we're terrible hand washers. Studies note that up to 33% of people do not wash their hands after using a public restroom. Eww! Of the 33% that do clean their hands, approximately 50% of males and 25% of females do not use soap. Not helpful! Finally, the average length of time for handwashing is as low as 6 seconds, which is much less than the 20-25 seconds recommended and proven effective. What a waste!
While COVID-19 may encourage more handwashing, it's highly likely it's not effective given our bad habits. Let's build a voice and/or visual application to help us all become mindful and ultimately adopt effective hand hygiene.