ICU work stations harbor drug-resistant bacteria

Work stations for intensive care unit clinical staff harbor drug-resistant bacteria, possibly because they are overlooked during routine cleaning, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Nine of 13 multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) found during sampling of commonly touched objects between ICU work stations and patient bedsides came from clinical work stations, according to the study. Contaminated areas included chairs, clipboards, keyboards, telephones and a computer mouse--items considered outside routine cleaning protocols, the researchers said.

The research indicates healthcare organizations must review hygiene standards in clinical workspaces away from ICU patient zones, according to an announcement from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology, which publishes the American Journal of Infection Control.

The study also found that adenosine triphosphate bioluminometers were seven times more likely to detect MRDOs than traditional microbial swabbing.

Another recent study found that single-patient ICU rooms reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections enough to more than pay for the cost of converting to private rooms, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

Other research found that, because of inadequate research, hospitals don't have enough good information to determine the best cleaning protocols for infection control.

To learn more:
- here's the study
- read the announcement