Infection Control and Mobile Devices in Senior Care

Guest blog by our partner Pioneer Solution, Inc.

By Karina Salisbury
Manager Business Development & Marketing
Pioneer Solution

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented senior care organizations everywhere with significant challenges. It has also highlighted a number of areas that require many to rethink their practices. Infection control and standards around mobile devices is one of the subjects that needs further attention as we move towards an increasingly mobile tomorrow.

There’s no question that mobile devices are the future.  They give care delivery teams an edge with respect to efficiency and accuracy. But have infection control standards overlooked the need for specific guidelines on appropriate cleaning protocols for mobile device use?

Throughout the pandemic, senior care facilities have been urgently reminded of infection control practices for their environments and equipment – but mobile devices seem absent from the conversation. What’s missing is the discussion of mobile device infection risk and best practice recommendations to help reduce the spread of pathogens.

Medical grade vs consumer grade devices

There is a degree of risk with all equipment used in healthcare settings – cleaning behavior needs to consistent and follow best practice guidelines to be effective. But medical grade mobile equipment is purpose-built with healthcare environments in mind and includes features like:
  • Sealed surfaces (against liquids, contaminants, dust)
  • Easily cleanable designs (often tolerating bleach-based cleaners)
  • Anti-microbial plastics
Senior care facilities need to ask themselves questions when they are preparing to purchase mobile devices and are considering consumer models.
  • Are there ports and openings that could allow for contaminants and dust?
  • Does the design allow for easy and thorough cleaning?
  • Will the plastic used allow for bleach-based disinfection?
  • Is there an antimicrobial component built-in?
Lots to consider. Ultimately it is the safety of residents and staff that we all want! We must all consider carefully whether our organizations’ mobile strategy helps promote proper infection control.

Healthcare Mobile Device Screening Checklist

Are the mobile devices you use Infection Control Appropriate (ICA)? A handy checklist to help you make the right mobile device choices.
✓ Is the Mobile Device is built with Anti-Microbial additive ensuring ineffaceable resistance to microbe growth
✓ Does the device have Anti-Microbial Certification based on testing and documentation from manufacturer
✓ Is device is fully-sealed against Liquids, Contaminants and Dust
✓ Does the device have covered, secured data ports, charge ports or jacks
✓ Does the device design provide for easy and thorough cleaning between every patient encounter
✓ Does device have difficult-to-reach areas and can it be completely cleaned with no downtime
✓ Is device housing durable enough to withstand bleach-based cleaners / disinfectant
✓ Does touchscreen function normally (without delay) with latex, nitrile or polyurethane gloves
✓ Does device have Medical Grade Certification provided by manufacturer

Want more information on this important topic? Register for the Richter and Pioneer webinar on June 23, 2020 – Infection Control: Appropriate Guidelines for Healthcare Mobile Devices and Healthcare Professionals