Bacterial contamination of keyboards is a source of pathogenic contamination in hospitals , according to a paper published by the Department of Hospital Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina Health Care System in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Hospital keyboards have multiple users, who do not wash or decontaminate their hands according to these findings. Most hospitals have mobile laptop computers in use on patient floors and are often taken from room to room. They are used by all caregivers, from doctors to nurses, CNAs and therapists.
The study , Bacterial contamination of keyboards: efficacy and functional impact of disinfectants, by Rutala WA, White MS, Gergen MF, Weber DJ was performed to determine the degree of microbial contamination, the efficacy of different disinfectants, and the cosmetic and functional effects of the disinfectants on the computer keyboards.
The data suggest that microbial contamination of keyboards is prevalent and that keyboards may be successfully decontaminated with disinfectants. Keyboards should be disinfected daily or when visibly soiled or if they become contaminated with blood.