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So ... what do your team members type on?
Do you have keyboards in nearly every room of your hospital? Did you ever think about how dirty those things get? Forget dust and lint-there's all that bacteria. Well, England's physicians share your worries.
That's why the U.K.'s National Health Service is distributing 7,500 keyboards to hospitals nationwide. The keyboards are flat, water-tight, easily washable, and include a warning light that tells users when it's time to suds it up again. The flat shape prevents debris from collecting on the surface, and the hypoallergenic material is resistant to bacteria. Microbiologists at the University College London Hospital have found that regular washing reduces the amount of bacteria on the keys by 70 percent. Also, users of the germ-free keyboards think to wash their own hands 10 percent more often.
Your own clinic keyboards might seem a little icky now. Those cans of compressed air can only do so much. No, you can't get these experimental flat British keyboards yet, but antibacterial keyboards and keyboard covers have been available for years.