An important component of infection control in the hospital setting is environmental cleaning (EC). Porous and non-porous surfaces in patient rooms, such as mattresses and bed rails, are susceptible to bacterial contamination from dangerous pathogens such as clostridium difficile and antibiotic-resistant organisms such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), various species of acinetobacter. Permanent structures such as floors and fixtures are also at risk.
The cleaning, disinfection and monitoring procedures used in the healthcare environment are collectively referred to as “environmental cleaning”.
Proper cleaning of these surfaces is an important component of healthcare providers’ larger program to reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). However, there is limited agreement on the best EC methods. Physical cleaning of surfaces and the use of disinfectants are both important in reducing the microbial load on surfaces.
The spread of infections must not only be contained within hospital premises, but spread across all environments. To improve public health, research conducted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) in collaboration with Dubai Police and Bond University in Queensland has shown the importance of including the disinfection of mobile phones and smartwatches in infection control protocols. the world
“Our phones are never far from us. we take them everywhere with us. We should make it a habit to clean our mobile phones and smart watches regularly like we do our hands,” explained Professor Abiola Senoke, Chair of Basic Medical Sciences and Professor of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, MBRU College of Medicine.
Inanimate objects tend to host nosocomial infections for a long time. For example, gram-positive bacteria can survive for several weeks to months on dry surfaces. C. difficile spores have also been shown to survive in the environment for up to five months.
Researchers from MBRU and Dubai Police also looked at the level of microbial contamination of smart gadgets in the emergency department. Using next-generation metagenomics sequencing technology, samples from cell phones, smartwatches, and healthcare workers’ hands were examined to help researchers determine which microorganisms are contaminating these devices.
“The results of our research showed that the organisms found on the hands of healthcare workers were also found on their mobile phones and smart watches,” commented the lieutenant. Colonel Dr. Rashed Algafri, Director of the International Center for Forensic Sciences at Dubai Police’s Forensic Evidence and Criminology Directorate.