February 26 — A hospital study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE indicates that paper medical charts may carry germs that can cause patient infections, according to The Examiner.
The study covered 681 hospital wards, including medical, surgical, pediatric and obstetric-gynecologic wards, along with corresponding special units like intensive care, the article stated.
According to the article, medical records in general wards tested positive for bacteria 63.5 percent of the time, while a staggering 83.2 percent of special ward charts did.
The study found that contamination was two to four times worse in units such as the ICU, which had a 9.3 percent incidence of contamination with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the article noted.
The study “highlights once again the importance of effective hand washing before and after handling medical charts, entering case notes, touching patients and performing procedures, since effective hand washing is the best way to block the transmission of pathogens,” the article added.
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