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Protecting Computer Equipment in the Operatories – Dental Infection Control

When you consider the decontamination procedures for high-tech equipment, including computers, digital imaging equipment, and intraoral cameras, first and foremost, you should follow the manufacturer’s directions. This provides the best results with the least damage to the equipment.

In its Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings – 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that if items or surfaces likely to become contaminated are difficult to clean and disinfect, they should be protected with disposable impervious barriers. Computer equipment in operatories is considered to be a clinical contact surface likely to become contaminated.

Since liquid surface disinfectants could prove harmful to computer equipment, the proper management is to prevent contamination from occurring by either placing the computer in a location where it will not become contaminated or using impervious barriers such as plastic shields.

Barriers for computer equipment can be either reusable or disposable. Disposable barriers must be changed between patients; reusable barriers must be cleaned and disinfected between patients. And don’t forget good hygiene; before touching any office equipment, make sure hands are clean.

Computer equipment unlikely to be touched during treatment, such as the hard drive or monitor, should be placed in a location where it won’t become contaminated or should be protected with a clear barrier shield.

Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered dental continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.

OSHA Review, Inc. provides the SUV Disinfectant & Cleaner in both concentrate and ready-to-use wipes. SUV Disinfectant and Cleaner meets OSHA and EPA regulations, and CDC recommendations. SUV is a hospital disinfectant proven effective against HIV, HBV and HCV.

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