Mobile Devices and Healthcare-Associated Infections

Brandy Wentz, BSN, RN; Mary Jane Bowles, DNP, RN, CCRN, CNS-BC


Am Nurs Journal. 2018;13(9) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


More and more healthcare professionals use mobile handheld devices (MHDs)— tablets and smartphones—to facilitate care documentation and as resource tools. In fact, 50% to 60% say they use MHDs during patient care. Unfortunately, these devices have the potential to carry infectious organisms, which can lead to spreading healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). In the United States, 5% to 10% of patients are affected by HAIs each year, resulting in 99,000 deaths and an estimated $20 billion in healthcare costs.

To address this concern, the Nursing Research Council (NRC) at our 451-bed American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet®-recognized, full-service hospital developed and conducted a research study to investigate the infection potential of MHDs and possible cleaning methods.