Posted by Heidi Schwartz
The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) recommends sealed TV remote controls for hotel guest and healthcare patient rooms to enable better cleaning of these high touch points to prevent devices from harboring and spreading infectious organisms.
“Items frequently touched by guests or patients should be regularly cleaned and disinfected or replaced by guest room attendants or environmental service professionals, and traditional remote controls are notoriously hard to clean and sanitize,” said Allen Rathey, president of HFI.
A study by the University of Arizona Microbiology Professor Dr. Chuck Gerba found the TV remote control to hold the highest level of bacteria in a patient’s hospital room—even more than bathroom doorknobs, toilet handles, bathroom sink faucet handles, in-room call buttons, bathroom handrails, and hospital tray tables.
When tested, dirty remotes had an average of 320 bacteria, while other surfaces averaged only 91 bacteria. According to Dr. Gerba, “These numbers clearly show the remote controls as having three times greater levels of bacteria than any other site in the hospital room.”
“A simple solution is the newer sealed remote now widely available and used in hotel chains like Best Western International (for instance, products like Clean Remote, pictured above, right) as well as in the facilities of major healthcare providers,” said Rathey.
The sealed, smooth, liquid impervious “touch membrane” can be sprayed and left wet with a disinfectant to enable complete cleaning and disinfection that is not possible with traditional porous remote surfaces and devices damaged by moisture (like those pictured above, left). The less porous design of the sealed touch/flat surface also harbors fewer bacteria, even before being cleaned, according to a University of Arizona Study conducted by Sheri Maxwell, B.S. and Gerba.
According to the leading provider of these products, proven TV remote technology is available that works with more than 200 brands of televisions.