RFID Debuts as Hand-Washing Compliance Officer


June 20, 2007 - RFID continues to make its way into a number of health-care applications. Now the technology is being employed in an automated, touchless hand-washing system, to help reduce the spread of infections at health-care institutions.

Next week, Resurgent Health and Medical is introducing its CleanTech IC line of automated hand-washing systems, which utilizes RFID tags and interrogators to identify each person using the hand-washing system-and records how long. The system will be unveiled at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology's (APIC) 2007 Annual Conference in San Jose, Calif.

The wash cycle automatically starts when the caregiver's hands are inserted into the machine's cylindrical openings.

Health-care-associated infections affect nearly 2 million individuals annually in the United States, and are responsible for approximately 80,000 deaths each year, according to a guide published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with APIC, the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). The transmission of health-care-related pathogens most often occurs via the contaminated hands of health-care workers, according to the guide, titled the "Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings".

This, says Resurgent Health and Medical, makes it important to promote and track the hand hygiene of health-care workers. Located in Golden, Colo., the manufacturer makes hand-washing and sanitizing systems for health-care, agriculture, food-processing and clean-room manufacturing companies.

The CleanTech IC will be available in three different versions: the IC In-Counter, designed to be built into existing workplace countertops or other small areas; the portable, freestanding IC Table Mount; and the IC Wall Mount, intended to keep workplace floors clear and accessible.

When washing hands, a caregiver wearing an RFID badge is identified by the CleanTech machine's RFID interrogator. The reader identifies the employee by scanning that person's unique tag ID number, associated with the caregiver's name in a back-end database. The device records the date and time, as well as the beginning and end of the wash cycle, then communicates that information to the database, which uses the interrogator's Ethernet card MAC address to identify each CleanTech and the department in which it is located.

The wash cycle automatically starts when the caregiver's hands are inserted into the machine's cylindrical openings. Water and sanitizing solution is applied for 10 seconds through 20 high-pressure nozzles, located in each opening and designed to clean the hands from fingertips to wrists.

If a caregiver removes the hands before the 10-second cycle finishes, the interrogator transmits this information to the back-end database. Hospital administrators can then run departmental statistics and other compliance reports to determine which caregivers have completed the washing cycles.

RFID Journal-AAFA Apparel & Foowear Summit, Aug. 20-22, New York City
This unique event brings together the leading end users, systems integrators, consultants and vendors to address critical adoption issues specific to the apparel and footwear sector in a highly interactive and collaborative setting. Leading end users will present case studies that reveal how RFID can deliver benefits in the apparel and footwear sector today. Vendors will demonstrate new technologies designed to address real business problems in this sector. Don't fall behind the industry leaders who are leveraging RFID today.

EPC Connection, Oct. 2-4, Chicago
The fourth annual EPCglobal North America fall conference and exhibition will deliver the largest audience of end users, systems integrators, distributors and resellers focused on leveraging EPC technology through the collaborative efforts of the leading standards body on EPC and the leading RFID media and events company. This event will feature multi-track conference and pre-conference sessions, more dedicated exhibit time and more demonstration areas than in any prior EPCglobal US event. Don't miss the opportunity to learn how EPC technologies can cut costs and boost sales today.

RFID Journal LIVE! Europe, Nov. 6-8, Amsterdam
RFID Journal LIVE! Europe 2007 is designed for end users and potential end users of radio frequency identification technology, systems integrators, resellers and the entire RFID community. Whether you are just beginning to explore RFID's potential or are already using RFID in your operations, the in-depth, multifaceted educational content presented by leading end users will help you understand where RFID can-and can't-help improve the way you do business.

More from Machinery & Machining Tools

All Topics

COVID-19 Response Suppliers COVID-19 Response:
Can Your Company Help Provide Critical Supplies?

We are using the power of our platform to aid in the mass shortage of critical supplies. If your company can help provide supplies, capabilities, or materials for products such as N-95 Masks and Tyvek SuitsPlease let us know.

COVID-19 Response Suppliers