NHS orders mass keyboard clean-up
Germ-resistant covers ordered
If you’ve read the reports about the average office keyboard being dirtier than a toilet seat, you may want to take a leaf out of the NHS’ book. The healthcare body has ordered thousands of specialist germ-resistant keyboards.
According to a report by the Press Association, the keyboards are completely flat and covered with a hypoallergenic coating that it’s claimed repells bacteria. An LED built into each keyboard also flashes when it's due for a rub-down and the light only stops flashing once sensors are satisfied that the keyboard’s been well cleaned with alcohol wipes.
Traditional keyboards can harbour lots of nasty germs, partly because they are rarely cleaned and becuase so many office workers eat lunch at their desks. Just try tipping your keyboard upside down now. Of course, returning to your desk without washing your hands after a vist to the lav won't help matters either.
The NHS hopes the keyboard order, which is thought to be for 7500 keyboards at a cost of over £1m in total, will help cut infection rates and reduce instances of superbugs, like MRSA.
Dr Peter Wilson, a University College London Hospital consultant microbiologist and co-inventor of the cleaner keyboard, told the PA that in tests the keyboards were shown to have a positive impact on keyboard cleanliness.
The NHS’ keyboards will be manufactured by a US-based firm, but similar germ-resistant PC peripherals can already be ordered online. Manufacturer Man & Machine, which is taking Apple to court over the Mighty Mouse name, sells several ‘clean’ keyboard designs online.
they sacked Me!
i was working on a rollout,
i asked some despotic manager some questions as i was from outside thier insane culture and was trying to get my head round how thier crazy system worked.
the next day i get sacked with no notice or explanation why.
They burn thier allocated IT budgets as fast as they can so they dont go under budget and get thier yearly budgets trimmed.(sound familier)
(me thinks its not the IT hadrware budget that needs trimming) [more likley the fat cat (40k+) middle padding managers]
The NHS needs a serious head to toe audit, with no punches pulled,
Maybe the next job for Sir Alan, after he's finished sacking wannabe employes on silly TV shows. even better send a TV crew to follow him round as he tears the Excess Fat from the NHS and turns it into a lean efficient operation, that delivers on what it was set up to acheive...
Ceramics with induction power & bluetooth
There are, IIRC, keyboards out there that're smooth ceramic plates, using induction fields for keypress detection and a short range RF or bluetooth connection to the host.
If you added magnetic induction power supply to those devices, you could have an easy-to-clean power pad and a keyboard that was a neatly rounded slab with no cables or protrusions. You could just swap them around every day and drop them all in a bucket of disinfectant ... or with some hardening even autoclave them.
Despite that, hospitals seem to keep on using keyboards that require cables trailing everywhere (dirty!) and that have uneven surfaces (very dirty!).
Keyboards already in use
These keyboards are already in use in one hospital I know of.
Apparently they beep every 15mins to be wiped down. From what my NHS friend told me, they are as El Reg explain, basically an old school membrane keyboard, and a pain in the arse!
Paris because she has to wipe every 15mins ;)
More importantly how clean is the smart card?
It's moving with the staff, isn't cleaned and gets put in and out of dirty slots...
Do I ned to explain Paris...??
Covers are easier
To the person who suggested disposable gloves - do you know how much they cost? And how many pairs the average ward would go through per shift?
Some of the keyboards at [DELETED] Hospital in [DELETED] have flexible rubber covers on to keep crud out of the keys, and they work just dandy.
Unfortunately, as someone else pointed out, many of the NHS IT apps require the use of smartcards plugged into keyboards for 'authorization' and the covers don't work with the stupid bloody card-enabled keyboards.
And before anyone (Jon G, this includes but is not limited to YOU) gets too snotty about the staff within the NHS, just remember that the staff you see in the 'front lines' of the wards, clinics and reception areas are not the ones you should be ranting at; they have no control over who spends what and where, they have to make do with whatever they are given by their lords and masters.
Having worked in a hospital myself, I would say that 99.99% of the staff washed their hands whenever they went in or out of a ward or (in the case of the medical staff) handled a patient... whereas it was only about 25-30% of the "visitors" who could be bothered with it. I'd say it wasn't the staff causing the problems...
If you have to visit a hospital and there's a handwash, USE IT.