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Last Updated: Jul 24, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Study shows good hand hygiene is enough to prevent smartphone contamination


Of the 50 phones that were tested, 60% showed bacterial growth on the agars used. Interestingly, 20 of the phones produced no cultures. Among the remaining phones, the study found coagulase negative staphylococcus, streptococcus viridans, micrococcus, corynebacterium and bacillus: none of which are traditionally associated with nosocomial infections. These results were found despite 88% of workers saying that they used their phones in the workplace. Previous studies have shown between 5 to 40% contamination with nosocomial bacteria, so the question becomes, “What’s different about this environment?”

To understand why nosocomial infection causing bacteria were not found on the phones, they performed a root cause analysis. Based on previous research that showed hand washing decreases contamination of mobile devices, the researchers looked into the hand hygiene in the surgical unit. They found a hand hygiene policy compliance rate of more than 97%.

This study shows that high quality hand hygiene could be an effective way to keep mobile devices from acting as reservoirs for pathogenic bacteria. Although this seems obvious, the study shows that phones aren’t the problem. They key appears to be good hand hygiene.

(Text and image from iMedicalApps; Provided for informational purposes only, AZHIN does not recommend or support products or companies listed.)


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