Sickness in the Doctor’s Office

Dirty pens

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Don’t Let Pens Infect Your Patients

According to ABC News[1], the doctor’s office is one of top places for contracting germs. After all, while the doctor’s office is the place patients go to get healthy, these offices are full of other sick people that may not pay attention to good hygiene. While germs are always a problem at the doctor’s office, if patients and staff members are not washing their hands, the risk of sickness and infection goes up. While germs can easily be transmitted from person to person within the office, it’s easy to forget that germs can live a long time on surfaces. When you have multiple patients touching the same surfaces, germs can quickly spread.

How Pens Become a Problem

When it comes to spreading germs, dirty pens can become a huge problem within the doctor’s office. Most offices have pens for patients to use when signing in or filling out paperwork. Unfortunately, those pens provide a great surface for germs to live on, which can spread sickness and infection among patients. Many patients, and even staff members, do not wash their hands after sneezing, coughing or using the restroom, which may result in the transfer of germs to office pens.

According to the Mayo Clinic[2], some germs could live 48 hours, or even longer, on surfaces.Mayo Clinic also notes that germs usually live longer on plastic surfaces, which is a common material used for pens. During an 8-hour day, office pens change hands multiple times, which means those pens may be covered with thousands of germs that could remain alive for a couple days. Once a patient uses a pen covered with germs, they may touch their face or rub their eyes, introducing the germs to their body, resulting in infection.

Eliminating the Problem

Since office pens and other common surfaces in a doctor’s office can spread germs, offices must take steps to eliminate the problem, reducing the spread of sickness and infection. Ensure that office staff members wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitizer to reduce the spread of germs. Put up signs to remind patients and staff members to wash hands after using the restroom and consider offering hand sanitizer in the office waiting room for patients to use.

Another option to reduce the spread of germs in the doctor’s office is the Cleanpen, a special pen holder and sanitizer designed to eliminate viruses and bacteria on pens. Cleanpen includes a unique sponge that dispenses cleaning solution to the pen’s surface, reducing the germs on the pen. Not only will using Cleanpen prevent pens from infecting patients, but they will keep staff members healthy as well, offering your office significant savings.


[1] June 20, 2013 “8 Germiest Public Places” <http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/germiest-public-places/story?id=19439413#8>

[2] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/expert-answers/infectious-disease/FAQ-20057907

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