Microbes spread quickly to hands, other surfaces in outpatient clinics: 3 study details

Microbes spread quickly in outpatient clinics, according to new research published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

To track microbial movement in the outpatient setting, researchers placed a harmless viral tracer on a front desk pen and on a patient room handle while hand hygiene, patient care and cleaning continued as usual. Patient and staff hands were evaluated after two, three, five and six hours.

The key research insights to know:

1. During all evaluations, the virus was detected on studied surfaces.

2. Room doors and nurses station chair arms had the highest viral tracer concentration.

3. Researchers concluded, "Microbes spread quickly in an outpatient clinic, reaching maximum contamination levels two hours after inoculation, with the highest contamination on examination room door handles and nurses' station chairs. This study emphasizes the importance of targeted disinfection of high-touch surfaces."

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