Ok, so you’re thinking, ‘how did Infection Control and IT Services come about?’
It started around 30 years ago (early 1980s) with a research project with which an OMC associate (then a simple oik, now a director) became peripherally involved. He was asked to supply keyboards for computer terminals to a laboratory direct from the manufacturer. These were swabbed on arrival and then at regular intervals and the results were catalogued.
Interest in the subject had been sparked by the introduction of computing into hospitals, at the time, very much in its early stages, and the need to quantify the capacity for transmission of contagious diseases.
The keyboards were being used in an administrative area far away from the wards or operating theatres and so were not subject to special disinfection measures – in much the same way as computing equipment has since become used virtually everywhere today.
Within a fortnight, pathogen load on the keyboards consistently climbed to a level exceeding that on the underside of the toilet seats in the Gents Staff toilets.