Sanitizers may be located in every hallway and patient’s room but there’s a new potential contaminator lurking out there, tucked away in a doctors lab coat next to keys or cash, a nurse’s scrubs, or lying on an administrator’s desk; their trusty cell phone or smartphone.
Research has shown mobile phones arenow breeding grounds for dangerous pathogens and illnesses such as e-coli, staph and MRSA. Other studies have produced alarming results, including one formal testing of cell phones in a hospital that found 95% of hospital staff s phones tested were covered with multiple strands of virulent bacteria.
While medical personnel use their phones for daily use, to talk or text or even update their Facebook status, their cell phones and smartphones also allow them to get real time updateson patients, access medical records or keep in touch with their own families when they’re logging long hours at the hospital. There is no doubt mobile phone technology has improved patient care and we are only at the beginning of the integration of technology into the medical practice and administration. But with nosocomial infections still a major threat to patients in many hospitals, the development and promotion of mobile hygiene practices in health care facilities is more important than ever.
As a medical professional, how often do you use a cell phone or smart phone throughout the day? How has your cell phone enhanced your ability to do your job?