When visiting your dental practice, patients expect and demand the highest level of hygiene not just from the dentist and dental equipment but from the whole practice environment. One aspect of this is the cleanliness of the computer equipment.
This area can easily be overlooked, but keyboards and mice not only trap dirt from day to activities, they can become a source of viral and bacterial residue which is then handled frequently during the treatment of patients.
Health Technical Memorandum 01-05, HTM0105, Decontamination in Primary Care Dental Practice offers clear advice on minimising the risk of transmissible infection.
Why are washable keyboards and mice included in HTM0105
The contamination of conventional keyboards in everyday use has been widely reported with the BBC reporting that some keyboards are ‘dirtier than a toilet’; but what are the additional concerns in a dental surgery?
Here are four factors that must be taken into consideration
- • Contact with blood and saliva followed by keyboard or mouse usage can transmit harmful microbes.
- • The use of aerosols in dental work will transfer micro-organisms to exposed surfaces.
- • The construction of most keyboards and mice include recesses and crevices that can easily trap bacteria.
- • The gaps between keys and the permeability of their cases allows for potentially infectious material to collect inside the devices.
Which Washable keyboard and mouse features comply with HTM0105 Guidelines?
Dentists need keyboards and mice that minimise the risk of contamination, and can be quickly and easily decontaminated between each patient in line with HTM0105 guidelines to prevent cross contamination.
- • Sealed and impervious to micro-organisms
- • Easily and quickly cleaned between patients
- • A fully washable keyboard, which can be immersed and thoroughly cleaned at end of day
- • Resilient to frequent exposure to medical disinfectants including CIDEX, alcohol, 10% bleach solution ( HTM0105 recommends the use of 1% sodium hypochlorite with a yield of at least 1000 ppm free chlorine (unless PCT policy suggests otherwise) for blood spillages.
- • Washable with soap and water to remove any resulting disinfectant residues
Optional considerations to improve ease of use and for extra cleanliness
- • Low profile keys to reduce entrapment of germs and provide an easier wipe down.
- • Keyboard with an integrated button mouse, for an all-in-one solution
- • Wireless keyboard and mouse, removes cable clutter and area to clean
- • Anti-microbial – nano silver or similar anti-bacterial components that actively reduce bacterial build up
- • Aesthetically pleasing to look at in the surgery
- • Robustness to prevent accidental damage – silicone or rubber casing
How washable keyboards made life easier at one high street dental practice
High Street Dental Witney Practice, an established dentist in Witney, priding itself on the highest levels of dental hygiene for patients, has invested in medical keyboards and waterproof mouse supplied by Armagard Ltd. The equipment provided by Armagard has added to the outstanding services offered by this practise and gives them a cost-effective solution to the highest standards of computer equipment cleanliness with quick and efficient washing down between patients.
An added bonus was that the many mouse and keyboard options offered by Armagard enabled each member of staff to personally select the equipment best suited to their way of working. This provides minimum disruption to patient care and maximum convenience of use whilst ensuring hygiene is maintained quickly and efficiently at all times.
“The headache of decontamination of keyboards and mice in our dental surgeries at High Street Dental Witney has been solved by Armagard. Not only do the keyboards and mice comply with the demands of HTM0105 and the dreaded CQC inspection but the numerous options available mean that all members of our dental team were able to actively choose the equipment to suit their particular preferences. One of the key features of the keyboard is the keys can be switched off for cleaning, meaning you don’t get that annoying random letters and digits appearing in the middle of clinical notes when the keys are cleaned with disinfection wipes, also we really like the fact that the keys are back lit. All the keyboards can be immersed in water as they are sealed in silicone (no more annoying covers ) and come in a variety of colours to suit your surgery. Mouse selection is great too as you have the choice of wired or wireless and colours to match the keyboard.
Everybody at High Street Dental Witney have found the medical grade keyboards and mice supplied by Armagard a joy to work with not to mention the staff who are always ready to help. “
Julie Owen BDS
Partner High Street Dental Witney Oxon