According to the Center for Disease Control, if you do not practice proper hand drying, you might as well not wash your hands:
Wet hands have been know to transfer pathogens much more readily than dry hands or hands not washed at all. The residual moisture determines the level of
bacterial and viral transfer following hand washing. Careful hand drying
is a critical factor for bacterial transfer to skin, food and environmental
However, while hand drying seems like a simple task, drying with a towel or paper wipes never seems to do the trick. In addition, paper wipes are extremely wasteful and easily add up to mess in public bathrooms. Drying is the Achilles Heel of hand hygiene and I don't think people realize the importance of it. To improve hygiene, the key will be to take the work and time out of it. But, I think we're winning the war on hand drying.
That's why I flipping out about the revolution in drying technology. The first major leap forward that I came in contact with is the Xlerator, which packs air speeds which make your skin ripple and is a vast improvement over the slow and tedious hand dryer. I've encountered these in a few places, but you may find one at a Target store.
The Xlerator has been eclipsed though. During a weekend trip to the movies, I came in contact with the perfect hand dryer: The Dyson Airblade. The unique, simple, and fascinating design features the high air speeds, but also dries both sides of you hand at once. It is simply an amazing and so utterly simple a concept. But, if these catch on, the Airblade could save lives.