Do you use tablets or smart phones in your practice? If so, are you disinfecting them properly (or at all)? Mobile devices are breeding grounds for germs that can be harmful to patients and staff. You disinfect your equipment and operatory surfaces, but often smart phones and tablets are overlooked in the infection control process. As the use of mobile devices in clinical studies continues to grow, it’s vital that these devices be disinfected.
In a 2015 study conducted by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, researchers tested 53 cell phones of orthopedic surgeons. They swabbed the fronts and backs of the phones while in the operating room and found that 83% had pathogenic bacteria at initial testing. All of the phones were disinfected and swabbed again to find that only 8% of the phones had pathogenic bacteria. One week later, the phones were swabbed again and pathogenic bacteria had returned to 75% of the cellphones.
Because of the high percentage of cell phone contamination found, the researchers recommend periodic cell phone cleaning with disinfectant wipes. In addition, given that there was a high contamination rate one week after disinfection, they recommend considering cell phone cleaning more frequently than once a week.
Although this particular study was limited to orthopedic surgeons and to cell phones, similar problems can exist in the dental operatory with tablets, keyboards, computers, and other often-overlooked surfaces. Of particular concern is the fact that cell phones often travel throughout a facility and sometimes outside the health care setting. Because of this, phones should warrant extra attention in your infection prevention guidelines.
Check out a variety of surface disinfectant wipes on DPS.com.
Mydent’s DEFEND+Plus Disinfecting Wipes earned a DPS ‘best product’ rating from our evaluators. Read the evaluation here.
Also check out these DPS ‘recommended products’ – Air Techniques’ Monarch Surface Disinfectant Wipes and Hager’s Sporicidin Disinfectant Wipes.