Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cell Phones: The Latest Target for Infection Control?

Alright doctors, time to give up the cell phones. (Never mind that there has not been a study linking cell phones and hospital acquired infections).

From the American Journal of Infection Control:
A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine bacterial colonization on the mobile phones (MPs) used by patients, patients' companions, visitors, and health care workers (HCWs). Significantly higher rates of pathogens (39.6% vs 20.6%, respectively; P = .02) were found in MPs of patients' (n = 48) versus the HCWs' (n = 12). There were also more multidrug pathogens in the patents' MPs including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella spp, high-level aminoglycoside-resistant Enterococcus spp, and carabepenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii. Our findings suggest that mobile phones of patients, patients' companions, and visitors represent higher risk for nosocomial pathogen colonization than those of HCWs. Specific infection control measures may be required for this threat.
What specific measures might they consider?

They better be careful what they wish for or they might also have to take away all those dirty EMR computer keyboards, too.



Adam Nally, DO said...

Oh, so true. . .

Tim said...

Wes! You are a genius! This is the way to thwart the EMR! Don't forget the thousands of computers in each hospital and doctor's office. Have you ever opened up a computer case that has been left undisturbed for any period of time? Filth! Utter filth!!
We have our battle cry: Out! Out, damned keyboard!