A recent data report, Cross-Contamination Prevention: Addressing Keyboards as Fomites, released by Infection Control Today, discusses the topic of cross-contamination prevention focusing specifically on keyboards as fomites. A fomite is an object that has the potential to become contaminated with any type of germ or bacteria. Fomites are key players in the transfer of pathogens from person-to-person. These objects are responsible for the billions of dollars spent treating hospital acquired infections and paying for sick leaves taken by health care workers. In order to lessen these numbers we must understand the source of the infections.
The Frequency of Touch in Hospitals
High-touch surfaces. This is a phrase that gets thrown around quite a lot in the world of healthcare, but we are rarely told how many touches are considered “high-touch.” The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America offered this answer to the question in a report titled “A Quantitative Approach to Defining ‘High-Touch’ Surfaces in Hospitals.”
Frontline recently released a documentary called “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria.” It details the accounts of three separate stories, happening in completely different parts of the world at the same time. All of these stories are connected by one thing: potentially deadly bacteria with no treatable medicines. Below is a very basic summary of the documentary along with a key takeaway from a disinfection standpoint.
Most people enter the hospital hoping to feel better after they leave, but for 1.7 million Americans every year, this simply isn’t the case. Hospital Acquired Infections, also called HAIs or nosocomial infections, are infections that a hospital patient can develop as a result of their hospital stay (Martin & McFerran, 2008). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that roughly 99,000 deaths each year are related to HAIs (Klevens et al., 2007).