Table 1

Studies reporting the proportion of computer devices contaminated

Author, yearClinical settingDevice and numberProportion contaminated
Bures et al 20 2000ICU (patient rooms and nurse+doctor stations)
10 keyboards
(80 total swabs)
19/80 (24%)
Codish et al 24 2015Internal medicine wards and ICU
81 keyboards+81 miceInternal medicine: 92/92 (100%)
ICU: 62/70 (88.6%)
Total: 154/162 (95.1%)
Cordeiro et al 25 2015ICU in a medium-sized hospital
Six keyboards
(12 total swabs)
6/6 (100%)
De Grood et al 28 2012Medical, surgical and ICU units in four urban hospitals
Two studies:
1) 230 keyboards
2) 10 Cleankeys keyboards
1) 229/230 (99.6%) contaminated with CNS, Micrococcus spp., diphtheroids, Bacillus spp. or alpha streptococci.
154/230 (67%) found positive with solid agar and broth for any one of the 3 cultures taken (MSSA, MRSA, Enterococcus [non-VRE and VRE], GNB, C. diff, yeast and fungus).
2) 10/10 (100%)
Duszak et al 31 2014Outpatient radiologist workstations in two hospitals in two US statesSeven mice7/7 (100%)
Gostine et al 39 2016ICU
40 keyboards
(203 total swabs)
193/203 (95.1%)
Gray et al 41 2007ED at a tertiary referral hospital
Northern Ireland
Seven mice
(63 total swabs)
54/63 (85.7%)
Hassan44 2014Staff rooms, computer labs and internet centres in a teaching hospital
150 keyboards and 100 mice242/250 (99.2%)
Hong et al 46 2012ED of three teaching hospitals
South Korea
56 keyboards and 56 electronic103/112 (92.0%)
Karbasizade et al 49 2014Medical wards of various hospitals
65 keyboards64/65 (98.5%)
Keerasunt-onpong et al 50 2017Patient care areas in general medical wards and ICU in a hospital
26 keyboards25/26 (96.2%)
Khan et al 51 2015Two large academic institutions and medical centres
106 portable electronic devices (93 iPads/tablet)100% had at least one positive culture from screen or cover.
Martin et al 57 2011ICU and ED in a paediatric hospital
24 terminals (keyboards/mouse/pad)23/24 (96%)
Messina et al 59 2013 (B)Various units within three hospitals
50 keyboardsWith PCA 36°C—49/50 (98%)
With PCA 22°C—33/50 (66%)
Patel et al 67 2010Four different areas of a dental hospital (two student study areas and two clinics)
Eight keyboards100% contaminated with a variety of microorganisms including S. aureus, CNS, GNR and cocci.
Richard and Bowen72 2017Orthopaedic OR
Six keyboards100%
Rutala et al 73 2006Burn ICU, cardiothoracic ICU and nursing units
25 keyboards25 keyboards (100%) had growth of two or more microorganisms.
Schultz et al 75 2003Veterans Affairs hospital: areas close to patients in high use areas of the acute, ambulatory and long-term care areas
100 keyboards95/100 (95%)
Shaikh et al 77 2016Lab and medical wards
25 keyboards20/25 (80%) including GNB, C. diff, Enterococcus spp. or S. aureus.
Smith et al 78 2006Medical, surgical and family practice programmes
60 notebook keys and grips
(120 total swabs)
52/120 cultures (43%) contaminated
Significant pathogens found in only 1.7% of cultures (MSSA and Serratia species).
Sweeney and Dancer80 2009Various clinical wards and ED
68 computer terminals (keyboards/mice)67/68 (98.5%)
Tan et al 82 2013Two open wards in 800 bed acute care hospital
Unknown number of keyboards
Six total samples
6/6 (100%)
Waghorn et al 84 2005General medical, general surgical, orthopaedic, care of the elderly, dermatology and paediatric wards, ICU, ED, OPD, and theatre suite
48 keyboards100% grew organisms of some kind. 79% of sampled computers grew either moderate or heavy numbers of organisms.
Westerway et al 85 2017Ultrasound units in public hospital and private practice
10 ultrasound keyboards100% of samples had 10 or more colonies (highest level of contamination).
Wilson et al 86 2006ICU—bedside and nurse station
17 keyboards100% contaminated with at least one species.
Yun et al 90 2012Patient care rooms in burn ICU and orthopaedic ward
Unknown number of devices (total of 32 samples from keyboards/mice)32/32 (100%)
  • C. diff, Clostridium difficile; CNS, coagulase-negative staphylococcus; ED, emergency department; GNB, Gram-negative bacilli; GNR, Gram-negative rods; ICU, intensive care unit; MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; MSSA, methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus; OPD, outpatient department; OR, operating room; PCA, plate count agar; S. aureus, Staphylococcus aureus; VRE, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus.