COEUR D ’ALENE, ID, November 2, 2006—Administrators of a major London teaching hospital said today that they will become the first hospital in the United Kingdom to install infection resistant computer keyboards in their wards and other clinical areas to combat the growing problem of hospital acquired infections.
University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and U.S.-based Esterline Advanced Input Systems today announced the pending installation of Medigenic keyboards that not only can be easily cleaned but alert hospital staff when they need cleaning. UCLH estimated that Medigenic keyboards could save the UK National Health Service (NHS) millions of pounds in the battle against the spread of super-bugs like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Their research suggests that the keyboard could cut MRSA cases by up to ten percent.
The flat design of the Medigenic keyboards allows for easy cleaning but excellent tactile response. They are also equipped with a timing device to warn nursing staff they need cleaning. Hidden sensors ensure that the surfaces are cleaned properly. Research by microbiologists at UCLH showed that bacterial levels fall by 70 percent if keyboards are cleaned every twelve hours and that compliance with keyboard cleaning protocols increased to 87 percent with Medigenic.
With increasing computerization of patient records at all hospitals Dr. Paul Ostro, a clinical scientist at UCLH said, “It’s a big problem because you can’t easily clean conventional keyboards – you cannot get between the keys. You cannot put water on them or fluids and therefore you cannot clean the surface easily.”
Dr. Peter Wilson, UCLH consultant microbiologist added, “As we are going to be increasingly using computers we thought we needed a keyboard that was very easy to clean to try to break the cycle of infection. The Medigenic keyboard is a significant step forward in the battle against infections like MRSA. You can run education campaigns to get people to wash their hands more often but the impact only lasts for about eight weeks. But with these keyboards you have a constant reminder of the importance of washing your hands and keeping your computer clean.”
Brad Lawrence, President of Esterline Advanced Input Systems, said, “Our Medigenic keyboards were also recently introduced to the US hospital market where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 2 million hospital acquired infections each year, causing 90,000 deaths and $4.5 billion in excess healthcare costs.” Lawrence said that several studies point to keyboards as a significant source of bacterial cross-contamination.
About Advanced Input Systems
Advanced Input Systems (www.advanced-input.com) a wholly-owned subsidiary of Esterline Technologies Corporation, manufactures standard and custom control panels and input systems. Notable customers include virtually all major-medical capital equipment providers. Esterline (www.esterline.com) is a leading specialty manufacturer of highly engineered products for aerospace, defense and medical markets.
Contact: Randy Noland
Advanced Input Systems
208 765-8000 ext 1305