Clinical workstations within hospital intensive care units (ICUs) can be frequently overlooked for cleaning and may be a breeding ground for dangerous pathogens as a result, according to a new study. The research, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, studied a busy ICU by tracing the steps of healthcare workers taking samples of commonly touched objects to check for the presence of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs).
The researchers from Western Sydney Australia found that out of 13 confirmed MDROs, 9 came from surfaces in clinical workstations such as clipboards, chairs, telephones, and keyboards. Additionally, the authors note that during the course of the research, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) testing was found to be seven times more effective for identifying MDROs than microbial swabbing. This means organizations and healthcare FMs can take advantage of the findings to implement more effective testing and hygiene procedures.