Keeping Hands-On Devices Safe for Use for You, Your Patients, and Your Healthcare Co-Workers
When cleaning isn’t enough, do you know how to disinfect your hand-held devices safely and effectively? Even healthcare workers may not realize that laptops, smartphones, and other handheld devices need to be disinfected just like other hospital equipment. And, yes, they can be cleaned safely!
Studies find that a virus may be able to survive for up to nine days on surfaces,1including the digital devices you touch continuously. From your hands to your face, contaminants get a free ride to your eyes, nose, and mouth.
It's always a good idea to check the cleaning and disinfecting directions provided by the manufacturer of your specific device. But there are some generally accepted cleaning habits worth forming to keep contaminants at bay.
Why Clean Your Devices? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can affect up to one in 25 hospitalized patients in the U.S., resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of lives and costing the healthcare system billions of dollars.2A growing body of literature shows the rate of bacterial contamination of health care workers’ mobile devices ranges from 40% to nearly 100%.3
The good news is it doesn’t take much to reduce all this contamination. Prevention practices can reduce HAIs by as much as 70%.4 One study reported cutting bacterial contamination in half using 70% isopropyl alcohol and 15 seconds of friction.5
Wipe Down Without Shutting Down
Lenovo products, like the ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 powered by Intel vPro® with 12th Gen Intel® CoreTM processor, can be equipped with the Lenovo Quick Clean application. Lenovo Quick Clean will lock the touchscreen, keyboard and mouse display automatically to allow for proper sanitation of the device between patients without shutting down the system. Customize your timer or use the 2-minute preset to lock out input.
Agents that are safe for use on devices include:
- Hydrogen peroxide wipes (such as Virox Accel wipes w/ a maximum of 0.5% hydrogen peroxide)
- Alcohol-based wipes (such as PDI Germicidal or B.Braun Meliseptol Wipes sensitive)
Five Steps to Cleaning and Disinfection
Use a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth for all steps. No paper towels!
- Shut down the device and disconnect power or use the Lenovo Quick Clean application.
- Wash hands for at least 20 seconds and dry thoroughly.
- Apply approved cleaning agent to cloth (not onto the device) and completely wring excess liquid from the cloth.
- Wipe all surfaces and allow the device to dry.
- Reconnect power and turn on the device.
For non-Lenovo devices, check with the original manufacturer’s recommendations for the cleaning and disinfecting of external keyboards, mice, cords, earbuds, and handsets.
When Should You Disinfect
Ideally, disinfect handheld devices before and after every patient encounter that involves contact, and before and after your shift. It’s also a great idea to wipe down your ID badge, keys, and jewelry before you go home.
Universal precautions are already part of your work routine. Adding device disinfection to the mix provides greater protection for you, your patients, and your coworkers.
Just as data protection and device maintenance should be a regular part of the hospital day, so should putting these simple safety steps into regular practice.
Print the Disinfect Your Devices poster!
To help spread the word about proper device disinfection, download our handy device eBook and print-ready poster. The poster can be printed on legal-sized paper and hung up as a great reminder to disinfect hand-held devices regularly.