| FAQ - Office Design & Management - Archived Through 2012
Are there any autoclavable computer keyboard and mouse combinations available? Are there any recommendations concerning sterilization or disinfection of computer keyboard and mouse?
The computer keyboard/mouse are sources of contamination and must be barrier protected or cleaned and disinfected (we are aware of one type of keyboard/mouse that is autoclavable).
Dental infection control experts recommend using barrier protection to cover equipment, especially sensitive equipment, such as computer keyboards/monitors/mouse and other difficult-to-clean surfaces. Reminder, barriers must be changed between patients and surfaces only need to be cleaned and disinfected if the barrier has been compromised.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Healthcare Settings (December 2003) states the following:
Barriers include clear plastic wrap, bags, sheets, tubing, and plastic-backed paper or other materials impervious to moisture. Because such coverings can become contaminated, they should be removed and discarded between patients, while DHCP are still gloved. After removing the barrier, examine the surface to make sure it did not become soiled inadvertently. The surface needs to be cleaned and disinfected only if contamination is evident. Otherwise, after removing gloves and performing hand hygiene, DHCP should place clean barriers on these surfaces before the next patient. (1)
Keyboards and mouse not barrier protected should be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer instructions. The computer/equipment manufacturer should be consulted prior to cleaning and disinfecting with chemical agents because the equipment warranty may be void if chemicals not approved by the manufacturer are used on their product. There are specially designed computer keyboards for use in healthcare settings that may be disinfected.
Further information about autoclavable computer keyboard and mouse combinations can found at:
The Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association also provides information concerning computer keyboards at:
The North Carolina Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology (SPICE) provides information on disinfecting computer keyboards in one of their monthly reports. The information may be viewed at:
1) CDC's Infection Control Guidelines for Dental Healthcare Settings (December 2003):