When we think about IT Devices, being able to clean devices with ease isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind. But when the devices are in a medical setting, whether it be a GP surgery, patient ward or hospital operating theatre, being able to thoroughly disinfect everything to medical grade requirements is paramount, particularly since the onset of COVID-19.
A systematic review of the contamination of peripheral computer devices in healthcare settings included data on a total of 2804 devices. This review revealed the most common microbial contaminants included: methicillin-resistant S. aureus, VRE, C. Diff, and E. Coli, with keyboards and computer mice being among the largest carriers. The review also revealed that between 20% and 40% of healthcare-acquired infections in United States hospitals were a result from cross-infection via the hands of medical staff.
Whilst there are a range of infection control devices available to keep our hospitals as clean and safe as possible, there are also IT devices designed specifically for medical settings and address the concerns and requirements of the environment. With keyboards and mice being the largest carriers of contaminants, we wanted to provide an overview of how you can mitigate this with a washable mouse and our our waterproof keyboard range. In this article, we cover:
- The top benefit of Washable Mice & Washable Keyboards : Infection Control
- Key features of Medical Mice & Washable Medical Keyboards
- Benefits of Medical Mice
- Benefits of Washable Medical Keyboards
The Top Benefit of Medical Mice and Washable Keyboards: Infection Control
The design of most keyboards and computer mice includes multiple grooves, openings and crevices, all of which provide spaces for bacteria and pathogens to lurk and multiply. In addition to the infection issue, there’s also the fact that these devices are vulnerable to any liquid spills, which in many cases can render the device useless, or at least require time consuming and/or pricey repair.
Washable keyboards and washable mice have been specifically designed for healthcare environments to reduce the spread of infection between healthcare workers and patients.
Key Feature of Medical Mice and Washable Medical Keyboards
Key features of both washable peripheral devices that support infection control include:
Use of Antimicrobial Materials
The growth of microbial bacteria, fungi, mildew and mold on the surfaces of devices is greatly inhibited when they are made from antimicrobial materials. These materials contain a fungistatic agent that protects washable keyboards and waterproof computer mice, keeping them much cleaner than devices made from standard materials.
The internal components of washable keyboards and waterproof mice are completely sealed within the unit. This enables easy cleaning as the device is watertight, protecting the internal mechanisms, ensuring optimal function and the ability to be vigorously cleaned to healthcare standards.The fact the unit is sealed also means there are less areas for bacteria to grow.
Top Benefits of Medical Mice
Benefit #1 – Durability
Built to withstand vigorous cleaning with medical grade disinfectants and high traffic usage 24/7, a waterproof mouse will stand the test of time and continue to function in hard wearing conditions.
Benefit #2 – Versatility
You can choose the medical mouse that suits the needs of your healthcare setting or personal preferences. Both the washable wireless mouse or corded washable computer mouse are great options for medical settings and are designed with ergonomics in mind for the comfort of the user. Whilst they have these features, washable mice include a traditional scroll wheel and multiple click buttons as with a standard mouse.
If a cable free environment is your preference, then the wireless model will be your best bet, keeping in mind that they do require a rechargeable lithium battery to operate.
Benefit #3 – Compatibility
There’s no need to change your entire I.T set up if you want to make the switch to washable peripheral devices. Washable mice are for the most part compatible with Windows, MAC and Linux and connect with a universal USB cable, in the same way a normal mouse is.
They are also able to be cleaned with most hospital disinfectants and don’t require a specific solution to keep them medically clean, further increasing their compatibility with your current routines and cleaning products.
Product Spotlight: The Mighty Mouse
A great example of the medical washable mouse is from leading customised computer solutions manufacturer, Man and Machine. The Mighty Mouse from Man & Machine is a larger unit and it’s 5-button sealed silicone design comes with an IP 68 rating (meaning it meets the highest standards for water and dust resistance). Man & Machine recommend choosing the white option for medical settings as it makes it easier to spot splatter and bioburden.
Top Benefits of Washable Medical Keyboards
Benefit #1 – Ease of Cleaning
Medical grade cleaners can be used on most washable keyboards via sprays or wipes, with many also being able to go into a standard dishwasher cycle or rinsed in a sink. Some designs include drainage holes, like the Man and Machine L Cool Silicone Keyboard and others have keys that are almost flush to the surface level, making them super easy and fast to clean on the go, such as the Man and Machine It’s Cool Keyboard. Many washable keyboards are made with medical grade silicone, including the Seal Shield Glow Silicone Keyboard, which is very quick and simple to sterilise.
Like medical mice, it is encouraged that you select the white model where possible, as they are easier to spot splatter on for a quick cleaning prompt.
Benefit #2 – Glove Friendly Typing
There isn’t the time to remove and reapply gloves every time a healthcare worker needs to use a computer. It’s just not practical and doing so would also increase medical waste with needing to put on a fresh pair of gloves each time.
Designed with these factors in mind, the keys of washable keyboards are created so the tactile feel is still apparent through one or even double gloved hands. By simply wiping down the keyboard with hospital grade disinfectant between uses, you can leave your gloves on between patient attendance and computer work.
Benefit #3 – Flexible Use
Lightweight and adaptable to any IT set up with USB cables, washable keyboards can be applied to virtually any medical station, mobile medical cart or within operating theatres and patient rooms.
Some models, such as the Seal Shield Glow Silicone Keyboard, have backlit keys, providing further flexibility by enabling staff to use them at all hours without requiring lighting, which is particularly helpful to reduce disturbances during night shifts on patient wards.
Product Spotlight: Seal Shield Glow Silicone Keyboard
This washable silicone keyboard is a leading example of IT devices developed to decrease the spread of infections in medical settings. 100% waterproof, it can even be disinfected with hospital grade bleach and includes antimicrobial product protection.
Debetrek – Your Supplier of Washable Keyboards & Waterproof Mice
Investing in washable IT devices is a simple and very affordable step you can take in protecting your medical facility staff, patients and visitors from the spread of infection.
In addition to the waterproof mouse or washable keyboard, Debetrek offers a comprehensive range of products across infection control, telehealth and mobile medical carts, from the world’s leading manufacturers. This holistic range of solutions, combined with decades of experience is what makes us the trusted suppliers of ICT and Hardware to the medical industry in Australia and New Zealand for over 20 years
If you’d like to know more about the wide range of medical devices we have available, or to discuss which solutions would best suit your facility, get in touch with the experienced team at Debetrek today.