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Infection Control & Patient Safety

How Clean Is That Keyboard?

Published May 27, 2014 9:28 AM by Barbara Smith
APIC has a members' only listserv called IP Talk. Several recent posts dealt with how to clean shared electronic devices used in healthcare. People were asking for advice on how to clean devices such as keyboards, workstations on wheels or hand-helds like iPADs.  This issue will continue to increase with the expansion of electronic medical records, mobile data collection tools and point of care screening devices. If you try an online search for disinfecting computer keyboards, there are citations from 2001 and earlier - which mention the bacterial laden foci they can be.

Yet, there are no straightforward answers. The general recommendation is to check the company's website and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Yet these are not very helpful because the disinfectant wipes used in healthcare often cannot be used on computer screens. There are screen covers that do answer this problem. One of the responders also felt that healthcare was slow to embrace alternative methods for cleaning or items that are easier to clean like rubber-type keyboards. Staff definitely wants clean items but there has to be a simple way to clean these devices and it should be clear who is to clean them.

How often do you wipe off your WOW or what about your own phone?

I've often wondered how they clean the devices on display that are used all day long at electronic stores. I happened to read this thread when I was working on a communal computer work station - as I bet many of you do every day. It did prompt me to clean not only the computer and keyboard, but the desk and phone as well.

posted by Barbara Smith

2 comments

Hi Samantha - thanks for sharing that tip- easy means people will use it

Barbara

Barbara Smith May 29, 2014 9:10 PM

Keyboards are definitely a germ hot spot in healthcare. We use eKlenz Keyboard Cleaners to disinfect our keyboards. They are quick, simple and easy to use.

Samantha May 29, 2014 12:35 AM

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    Occupation: Infection Control Professionals
    Setting: Welch Allyn; St. Luke’s Hospital (Smith)
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