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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Infectious Diseases 1/2017

Interaction of healthcare worker hands and portable medical equipment: a sequence analysis to show potential transmission opportunities

Zeitschrift:
BMC Infectious Diseases > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Chetan Jinadatha, Frank C. Villamaria, John D. Coppin, Charles R. Dale, Marjory D. Williams, Ryan Whitworth, Mark Stibich
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12879-017-2895-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Background

While research has demonstrated the importance of a clean health care environment, there is a lack of research on the role portable medical equipment (PME) play in the transmission cycle of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs). This study investigated the patterns and sequence of contact events among health care workers, patients, surfaces, and medical equipment in a hospital environment.

Methods

Research staff observed patient care events over six different 24 h periods on six different hospital units. Each encounter was recorded as a sequence of events and analyzed using sequence analysis and visually represented by network plots. In addition, a point prevalence microbial sample was taken from the computer on wheels (COW).

Results

The most touched items during patient care was the individual patient (850), bedrail (375), bed-surface (302), and bed side Table (223). Three of the top ten most common subsequences included touching PME and the patient: computer on wheels ➔ patient (62 of 274 total sequences, 22.6%, contained this sequence), patient ➔ COW (20.4%), and patient ➔ IV pump (16.1%). The network plots revealed large interconnectedness among objects in the room, the patient, PME, and the healthcare worker.

Conclusions

Our results demonstrated that PME such as COW and IV pump were two of the most highly-touched items during patient care. Even with proper hand sanitization and personal protective equipment, this sequence analysis reveals the potential for contamination from the patient and environment, to a vector such as portable medical equipment, and ultimately to another patient in the hospital.
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