We have known for a while that mobile devices are an emerging risk for harbouring hospital pathogens. But it was interesting to see a new study evaluating the rate of contamination with Candida sp. on the surface of phones. 175 phone screens from a Polish hospital were sampled, and a whopping 75% were contaminated with Candida sp! Interestingly, there was no correlation between the behaviour of healthcare workers in terms of cleaning their phones and the rate of contamination. But perhaps this is unsurprisingly given only 20% of healthcare workers actually cleaned their phone!
Phones are fast becoming an extension of ourselves, but the policies for the appropriate management of phones and other mobile devices used by healthcare workers seem to be slow to come through. Perhaps it would be useful to classify healthcare workers’ mobile phones as medical devices?