Ask the care expert: What are some infection control techniques for touch-screen medical records?

Share this content:
Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
Q: More and more my nurses use touch screens for medical records (and also the time clock). How do you suggest cleaning these to prevent the spread of infection?

A: The first thing you should do is contact the manufacturer for the item you are wanting to clean. Don't just make up a policy without contacting them as there may be something you cannot use, or may cloud the screen or ruin your warranty. It is a very good idea to have some type of alcohol hand cleaner next to your hand scan time clock — as well as a policy for your staff to use it before and or after the scan in and out of work.

Another reason to contact the manufacturer is the fact that so many regulators and inspectors will want to see your evidence-based plans. We tend to write too many policies, and NOT follow them.

If you are going to write a policy, always state the purpose of the guidelines. State WHY the policy is important, such as “to prevent transmission of infectious diseases to residents and employees.”

An example of policy explanation and compliance guidelines
1. Equipment and supplies: disinfectant wipe, kiosk and gloves as indicated.

2. Put on gloves.

3. Retrieve disinfectant wipe from container.

4. Cleanse the kiosk with the disinfectant wipe.

5. Discard disinfectant wipe in waste receptacle.

6. Remove gloves and wash hands.

7. Allow device to dry for a minimum of two minutes, or per manufacturer recommendations.

Add a date of implementation at the bottom. Be sure policies like this are updated and reviewed at least once a year by the team members involved.