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Bioburden Busters Block Bacteria with Sanitization Stations to Disinfect Cell Phones

Credits: None available.


Clinical staff mobile devices (cell phones) have the potential to spread bacteria in patient care areas and can lead to the spread of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Dialysis nurses at a Magnet-designated academic medical center has had an evolving PI project focusing on CLABSI reduction in patients with dialysis catheters. Staff rely on the use of mobile devices and the current gap in practice was the need to have a best practice for routine sanitization methods for cell phones. The purpose of this evidence-based project (EBP) was to pilot disinfection of cell phones compared to usual practice of no disinfection of cell phones to decrease bioburden on mobile devices. We used the Iowa model for implementing this project as the evidence-based foundation. Change strategies included staff surveys for cell phone habits and disinfection, staff education, pre- and post-data collection on rates of bacteria present on phones. Our team conducted a literature review and the evidence demonstrated that less than 5% of cell phones were routinely disinfected and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a routing cleaning regimen for mobile devices. Interventions found to decrease bacterial bioburden on mobile devices included 70% alcohol, UV disinfection, and germicidal wipes. Survey questions were modeled after questions used in the literature to gather information on how staff were using their cell phones in the environment and their current sanitation practices. Staff reported using their cell phone while attending to patients, touching phones with gloves on, responding to calls while in the bathroom, and most did not routinely sanitize their phones. We implemented a 3-product pilot to sanitize the phones. We developed education that was provided through walking rounds. Goal for the project was to decrease bacteria (bioburden) present on phones as measured by luminometer which measure ATP (bacteria) on the device surface. Pre-data luminometer readings showed only a 37% pass rate compared to a 63% fail rate. Our post-data luminometer readings showed improvement with a 65% pass rate, indicating bioburden was low compared to our pre-intervention pass rate of 37%. Routine use of the disinfection interventions has the anticipated reduction in bacteria present on cell phones.

Evidence-based references
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