Contamination rates between smart cell phones and non-smart cell phones of healthcare workers.
J Hosp Med. 2013 Mar;8(3):144-7
Authors: Lee YJ, Yoo CG, Lee CT, Chung HS, Kim YW, Han SK, Yim JJ
BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers' mobile phones are easily contaminated with pathogenic bacteria and could be vehicles of transmission. Smart phones are increasingly used in the hospital. The objective of this study was to compare the contamination rate of bacteria with pathogenic potential between smart phones and non-smart phones.
METHODS: We screened mobile phones of healthcare workers in three teaching hospitals in South Korea. The identification of cultivated micro-organisms and assessment of antibiotic susceptibility were performed.
RESULTS: One hundred fifteen (56.7%) participants used smart phones, and 88 (43.3%) used non-smart phones. Bacteria with pathogenic potential were isolated from 58 (28.6%) mobile phones, more often from smart phones than from non-smart phones (34.8% vs 20.5%, P=0.03). Multivariate analysis including various characteristics to determine risk factors revealed that only smart phones (vs non-smart phones) were a significant risk factor for contamination by bacteria with pathogenic potential (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 4.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.43-11.31). Also, in a multivariate model including phone size, the smart phone was still a significant risk factor for the pathogen contamination (OR, 4.17; 95% CI, 1.07-16.33; P=0.04).
CONCLUSION: The smart phones of healthcare workers were contaminated with bacteria with pathogenic potential to a greater extent than were non-smart phones.
PMID: 23418134 [PubMed - in process]