Kids aren’t the only thing returning to school this fall. With each new school year, a new group of germs and bacteria are brought into the classroom and, eventually, the doctor’s office.
Healthcare professionals are more at risk of getting ill when the number of sick patients rises. Several studies have been undertaken to evaluate the extent of contamination of computer keyboards in hospitals and physicians’ offices. One such body of research found that 95 of the 100 tested positive for microorganisms, Streptococcus, Clostridium perfingens, Enterococcus (including VRE), Staphylococcus aureus, fungi and gram-negative organisms.
With this in mind, infection control expert Jean Fleming, RN, is leading the call for cleanliness. “American healthcare workers need to recognize that surface disinfection is essential in order to prevent the spread of infection,” says Fleming, infection control education manager for Professional Disposables International, Inc. She advises workers to follow these easy tips to keep their work environment as germ free as possible:
— Make keyboard surface cleaning a daily routine: Disinfection of computer keyboards and associated equipment must be incorporated into routine cleaning.
— Practice good hand hygiene before and after eating: Bacteria has less of a chance to be transferred to hard surfaces when hands are cleaned. Sanitizing hand wipes are an ideal alternative to soap and water when the latter are not available.
— Consider a soft plastic keyboard cover for daily use: These keyboard covers can be cleaned with disinfecting wipes or sprays and also prevent food from falling between keys.
— Wipe your telephone, computer mouse, and surrounding surfaces with an appropriate surface cleaning product: Despite our best intentions, chances are many common office electronics can serve as reservoirs for microorganisms. You should wipe these office surfaces down on a regular basis with a pre-moistened disinfecting surface wipe.
— Don’t store food in your desk drawers or work station: Bacteria, mold and yeast are the uninvited guests that can multiply quickly so store leftover food in an appropriate area away from desk or work station.
— Disinfect non-porous surfaces daily: This includes books, countertops, chairs, examination rooms, and office equipment.
Professional Disposables International, Inc. (PDI) offers an array of pre-moistened disinfecting wipes that are familiar to healthcare professionals. For surfaces, the Super Sani-Cloth® Germicidal Disposable Wipes offer 23 EPA approved “kill claims,” including MRSA, VRE, Human Coronavirus, Rotavirus and E.coli to help eradicate from non-porous surfaces in two minutes. Sani-Cloth® Plus Germicidal Disposable Cloths feature a low-alcohol formula (14.85 percent) for the disinfection of hard, non-porous surfaces and equipment. Kills MRSA, VRE and TB in five minutes. Sani-Cloth® HB Germicidal Disposable Wipes are an alcohol-free formula ideal for the disinfection of alcohol-sensitive hard, non-porous surfaces and equipment; they kill more than 100 microorganisms, including MRSA, in 10 minutes. For hands, the Sani-Hands® for Kids Antimicrobial Alcohol Gel Hand Wipes are enhanced by the friction of wipe delivery. They, too, kill 99.99 percent of germs, including MRSA and contain moisturizing aloe and Vitamin E. FDA Food Code compliant, they are ideal for sanitizing hands before meals when soap and water are not available.
1. Schultz M, Gill J, et al. Bacterial Contamination of Keyboards in a Teaching Hospital. Infection Control Hosp Epidemiol; 2003; 24:302-303.