• 28 February 2017

Install the Correct Computer Keyboard to Assist Infection Prevention and Potentially Save Money

In a series of upcoming articles CliniTech Medical shares its knowledge in the field of IT equipment and infection prevention.

 

Starting with the computer keyboard and mouse, a vital interface to enable the fast and efficient use of Veterinary computer systems and equipment.

Whether at the Reception Desk, Consultation Room or near to patient treatment, these multi-user, high touch points, need to be cleanable. Many studies have shown that keyboards can harbor bacteria, leading to a potential source of cross contamination and in the worst case unnecessary infection. Extended stay, treatment time and drug cost can burden a site financially. The challenges of cleaning a conventional keyboard or so called medical keyboard is typically understood and many people say that they only have to turn a keyboard upside down and shake out the debris, hair, dirt and dust all of which bacteria love to thrive on. However, the keyboard, mouse, mouse mat, screen and PC in many types of clinical settings, including Veterinary are typically not fit for purpose.

The topic of cleanable keyboards won’t be new for many, however, CliniTech Medical is striving to share its wealth of practical knowledge on this subject.

So what can actually make a difference, when choosing a keyboard?

The Market is flooded with many choices, each offering a different take on clean ability, their cost and ease of use. CliniTech Medical would like the whole community to learn that the first UK Government funded study to establish the interaction of raised key keyboards and cross contamination risks started way back in 2003. A Top UK NHS hospital concluded after several months of intensive study, that only a 100% flat keyboard surface, that was cleaned twice daily without fail, would be able to offer any significant reduction in the bacterial load.

Many types of keyboard were tested as part of the study, rubber keys, antimicrobial, covers, flat industrial, washable, and dishwasher safe. However the results all pointed to the huge advantage of a 100% flat keyboard surface that could be cleaned within 5-8 seconds, where the average contamination could be reduced by 70%. Keyboards with nooks and crannies where the bacteria could survive and remain, would typically only offer a 5% reduction using the same cleaning action and chemicals. A usability study at the same time found that keyboards that offered a washable feature, would in fact rarely be washed as instructed due to the amount of time taken to disconnect, wash, scrub, dry and put back in place.

Following publication of their findings in 2005, only a 100% flat keyboard that is also easy to type on is considered a true infection prevention measure. If more of the right fit for purpose keyboards and mice are used and cleaned correctly then less contamination risk within human and animal healthcare will exist. CliniTech Medical introduced PureKeys at last year’s London Vet Show, the latest generation design to meet the needs of a tactile key 100% flat infection prevention keyboard and mouse. A product already used within the NHS, Dental, Pharmaceutical and now within Veterinary.

December saw the site wide installation of PureKeys at the leading Newnham Court Veterinary Hospital in Maidstone, Kent.

 

Our customers report that it can take a few days to get used to the feel of the keys and an average touch typist will only lose a few percent of their speed, a price worth paying for a cleaner environment and staff themselves are less likely to get ill at work. CliniTech Medical is so confident in the product they will let any Veterinary Practice or facility try a unit for 10 days. They also offer other infection prevention measures like mouse mats, 5-6 log cleaning chemicals, cleanable displays, UV-C surface / Air disinfection and fan-less Medical PC’s. www.clinitechmedical.co.uk 01438 230 037

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