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The role of the mobile communication devices in the spread of healthcare-associated infections: a systematic review

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Introduction

Mobile communication devices of healthcare workers have an invaluable feature of communication within hospital settings, and they may support aspects of clinical diagnosis and education. However, there may be a potential for contamination with various pathogens.

Objectives

Our objective was to systematically review the potential role of these devices in the dissemination of pathogens and the effective prevention measures.

Methods

A comprehensive literature search was performed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. To identify relevant publications, PubMed, Medline and ScienceDirect were searched for articles published between 1 January 2000 and 1 August 2014 in English language. Appropriate articles were accessed in full text to determine eligibility and extract data by two reviewers. Studies were stratified by pathogens and prevention measures.

Results

Our search yielded 11,824 titles published after the search period. Finally, 30 articles met our inclusion criteria. Only 8% of healthcare workers routinely cleaned their mobile communication devices which resulting a high rate of contamination (40-100%). Coagulase-negative Staphylococci and Staphylococcus aureus were the most common identified bacteria. The most of them was methicillin resistant (10-95.3%).

Conclusion

This systematic review identified effective interventions to reduce bacterial contamination risks include regularly decontamination of mobile communication devices, hand hygiene and staff education.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.

Author information

Correspondence to R Szabó.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Keywords

  • Systematic Review
  • Staphylococcus Aureus
  • Prevention Measure
  • English Language
  • Full Text