Monday, December 30, 2019

2018 Flu Epidemic Changed How We Must Prepare for Flu Season. Here’s How You Can Be Better Prepared This Year.

The 2018 flu epidemic wasn’t just your average flu season- it was far worse than anyone could have predicted. It sent more people to the hospital than any other time in recent history. Unusually, it hit most of the country simultaneously and was fatal even to people without underlying medical conditions. It was truly an epidemic as opposed to your run-of-the-mill flu season.

The flu is one of the greatest public health challenges.

2018 Flu Epidemic Demonstrates that the Flu Shot Isn’t Enough.


The 2018 flu hit people with three different strains. Worst of all, the vaccine wasn’t as effective against the most predominant virus, as it was against the rest of them. You were certainly far better off having gotten the flu shot, than if you didn’t. But that shouldn’t stop people from questioning whether the flu shot is enough to prepare for the incoming flu season. Based on the evidence, it’s clearly not.

Three strains of the flu virus caused the 2018 Flu EpidemicDoctors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have emphasized the important role of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of the flu. This was relevant in the 2018 Flu Epidemic, just as it will be in upcoming flu seasons. But in 2020 we must also look at the technology that we are always connected to that can also play a role in spreading illnesses.


Different Technologies That Can Be Used to Help Prevent the Flu


Waterproof keyboards

Keyboards are already some of the grossest items you can possibly find in an office, containing more bacteria on average than even a toilet seat. During flu season, they become a completely different type of hazard. The flu is incredibly contagious and can be contracted by touching a surface that has been contaminated with the virus. It’s impossible to precisely pinpoint where people were exposed to the flu virus during the 2018 Flu Epidemic, but it’s certain that touching the same keyboard as a sick coworker or family member is a surefire way to spread the illness.

The solution to this is to make sure your keyboards are washable. In doing this, you can take an extra step ahead of everyone else in avoiding the flu. Seal Shield’s washable keyboards are just as usable and high-quality as any other on the market- they just come with the added ability to be washed. Some of my favorite keyboards are as follows:


This is one of Seal Shield’s most functional keyboards and great for high data entry. It comes with the very popular backlit feature, which is handy for typing at night. This one is a good keyboard for both business and personal use.


Cleanwipe™ Waterproof Keyboard

This unique keyboard is particularly popular with dentists due to its ergonomic size and its removable cover. The cover allows for quick cleaning with a disinfecting wipe in between patients but is also great for business use if you want to quickly clean the keyboard after someone else has used it. I personally use this keyboard at work largely because I love how it feels.


Seal Touch™ Waterproof Keyboard

This one is classified as an all-in-one keyboard. If you don’t wish to use a mouse, this is the one for you. It also doesn’t contain any cracks or crevices, which makes it very easy to clean.



Medical Mice

It is essential to treat hand hygiene as an all-encompassing routine as opposed to just little things you do here and there. You are likely touching your mouse just as often as your keyboard and are still vulnerable to picking up the flu if you aren’t washing both.

If you are sharing a workspace with a coworker who hasn’t washed their hands, they are going to be rubbing the same contaminants on the mouse that they are on your keyboard. One might even compare typing on your computer for several hours right after someone has used it with their dirty hands to shaking that person’s unwashed hands for several hours. I guess what you should take from this is that the only way to have an ideal workspace for flu season is to have a workspace that can be cleaned in its entirety- down to the mouse.

Similar to the keyboards, you do not have to sacrifice usability for washability. Seal Shield’s mice are just as functional as any other, but far more sanitary. Some of the best ones they have to offer are:

Silver Storm™ Waterproof Mouse

This is Seal Shield’s most popular mouse. It’s easy to use and has a good feel to it.



Silver Surf™ Waterproof Mouse

This is a variation of the classic mouse for those who prefer to click rather than scroll. It’s also quite popular.



Silver Storm™ Wireless Waterproof Mouse

If you are looking for a wireless mouse, this is perhaps the best option. It has all the usability of a classic mouse, but minus the cord. It has become very popular due to how ergonomic it is.




Seal Screen - Touchscreen Protector

Touchscreens have been perhaps the most increasingly used technology of the decade. They’re now being used in so many different types of businesses ranging from retail to airlines. Heck, even when I moved to Orlando recently the moving company used an iPad to account for all my belongings. They’re quite handy, but the problem is that they’re never being disinfected, which makes them particularly risky for flu season.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as simply implementing a disinfecting protocol for all touchscreen devices. In fact, the cleaning products required to properly disinfect a touchscreen can actually cause quite a bit of damage to the screen. Apple advises against using “window cleaners, household cleaners, compressed air, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, abrasives, or cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide to clean an iPad.Microsoft and Samsung don’t offer much better options.

The best solution to this isn’t to damage your screen or to neglect people’s safety. There’s actually a much better solution called Seal Screen. It’s a custom screen protector than allows for the usage of harsh cleaning products that can effectively disinfect your devices. On top of that, it has impact strength to help avoid damaging the screen in the case of an accident as well as antimicrobial product protection. This is the type of weapon you want to have in your arsenal to prevent the spread of the flu. With lessons learned from the 2018 Flu Epidemic, this is one of the best ways to stay safe going forward.

The ability to properly disinfect touchscreens is key in preventing the next 2018 Flu Epidemic.

As you might surmise, cell phones are also a huge part of spreading infectious diseases. It’s almost impossible to discuss the cross-contamination caused by touchscreens without addressing the risks brought about by cell phones. Think about it, you might wash your hands every day, but once you touch your phone you just negated it. Phones are some of the dirtiest items that we touch, namely because they are also never disinfected.

In hospitals, as you can imagine, this is a big issue and organizations will often times order touchscreen protectors for all staff-issued mobile devices. However, infectious disease and especially the flu are not limited to hospitals. It’s important to be able to disinfect personal cell phones as well and fortunately, Seal Screen covers can also be made for smartphones as well as tablets and larger screens.

ElectroClave

Of course, large organizations may require a more advanced solution for disinfecting phones than an individual would. Today, there exists a new product that not only disinfects cell phones of 99.9999% of germs but also allows an organization to track its usage and ensure that employees are taking proper steps to ensure good hand hygiene, not only during flu season but year-round. It’s a UV disinfection box called the ElectroClave. The features on this device are endless and they allow for a smarter approach to maintaining good hand hygiene.

The groundbreaking ElectroClave device can disinfect mobile devices and improve hand hygiene.This device was originally developed for healthcare and was designed with input from members of top organizations such as Johns Hopkins and Yale New Haven. Its latest version was launched in November 2019 and while it wasn’t around during the 2018 Flu Epidemic, it can certainly help improve hand hygiene for subsequent flu seasons. It’s already started being implemented at many top organizations and has been highly regarded by those using it.

Cell phones as a point of cross-contamination pose a risk to various other industries such as agriculture, hospitality and even banking. The flu costs employers over $20 billion worth of productivity in a given year. The ROI of keeping employees healthy is apparent. A major risk for many businesses is one sick employee getting an entire staff sick. This isn’t uncommon and can easily happen through touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it. With 900,000 hospitalizations as a result of the 2018 Flu Epidemic, it certainly indiscriminately affects all industries. It’s almost 2020, and we have to rethink our approach to preventing the flu.

The 2018 Flu Epidemic Can Be the Last That You Go Through Without The Latest in Prevention Technology


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

This Year’s Flu Season Is Shaping out to Be One of the Worst Ever. Here’s Some New Ways to Stay Safe.

     You might think that you are fully prepared for this particularly active flu season. You’ve gotten your shot, you’re always washing your hands and you’ve successfully avoided your coworker who always comes in with a cough. Seems like you are on a roll. However, if you share a workstation with others there might be a big factor that you are missing: your keyboard and mouse.

     You can avoid the gross old man who always sneezes into the palm of his hands all you want, but if you have to use the same keyboard as him, you are trapped. While you can refuse to shake his hand all you want, the keyboard, unfortunately, does not possess the same luxury.

     Keyboards and mice are already some of the grossest items you can possibly find in an office, containing more bacteria on average than even a toilet seat. During flu season, they become a completely different type of hazard. The flu is incredibly contagious and can be contracted by touching a surface that has been contaminated with the virus.

     The solution to this is to make sure your keyboard and mice are washable. In doing this, you can take an extra step ahead of everyone else in avoiding the flu. Seal Shield’s washable keyboards and washable mice are just as usable and high-quality as any other on the market- they just come with the added ability to be washed.

Some of my favorite keyboards are:

Silver Seal™ Glow Waterproof Keyboard



Cleanwipe™ Waterproof Keyboard



Seal Touch™ Waterproof Keyboard



My favorite mice are:

Silver Storm™ Wireless Waterproof Mouse



Seal Shield™ Wireless Waterproof Mouse


Friday, December 6, 2019

Best Keyboards to Give on the Holidays

What do you give to someone who already has everything? I’m sure everyone reading this has someone like that in their life. Personally, my grandmother is the hardest person to gift to. She owns more knick-knacks than any other person I know. Her house is full of gifts and treasures that haven’t been touched since she received them. Do you know what everyone uses though? Their computer.

Now I’m not suggesting you go out and buy your grandma the new MacBook. But anyone that uses a desktop computer is frequently using their keyboard. And their keyboard is slowly but surely accumulating gross bacteria and dust to the point where keyboards have become one of the dirtiest household items, surpassing your dog’s chew toy and even toilet seats. The reason for this is that while you may vacuum your house and clean the various items in it, most are not washing their keyboards because they can’t.

Until now. With Seal Shield’s washable, waterproof computer keyboards you can put your keyboard in the dishwasher and clean it as thoroughly as any item in your house. It’s a great gift for someone who has everything, and you can also be sure that it will be used every time the recipient is on the computer. Unlike one of many sweaters they might receive or the treadmill that I can assure you won’t get any use, these keyboards are certain to be a hit.

Silver Seal Glow Waterproof Keyboard

If the recipient of this keyboard likes to type at night, then they will likely make use of the backlit feature of the Silver Seal Glow keyboard. This is one of our most popular keyboards and doesn’t sacrifice any usability to achieve its washability.

Cleanwipe Waterproof Keyboard

This is actually my favorite keyboard and the one I personally use. It comes with a removable cover, which makes it easier and quicker to clean. I feel comfortable typing for long periods of time on it and love the way it feels. The removable cover makes it very popular in dentist’s offices since they can quickly wipe it down in between patients. This is medical quality equipment that you can purchase for home use.

Seal Glow Waterproof Keyboard

If you suspect that the person to whom you are gifting this keyboard likes to eat while they browse the web, this is definitely the keyboard you want to get them. This keyboard contains no cracks or crevices, which means that crumbs can’t fall in between the keys. Whenever they finish their nachos and realize that they made a mess on their keyboard, they can just flip it over on top of a trash can and easily remove all the crumbs. Better yet, if you suspect that the recipient of this is clumsy enough to get some nacho cheese on the board as well, then they can just wash it out and make it seem brand new. This makes for an excellent gift.

Bonus:

If you want to be the favorite grandson, granddaughter, niece, nephew or whatever, get your special someone a washable mouse to go with their keyboard. If they are anything like my grandma, they will be telling all their friends about how they wash their keyboard and mouse in the dishwasher.

Seal Shield has an assortment of mice that are all machine washable and waterproof, but this one is my personal favorite. The Silver Storm wireless mouse perfectly matches several different keyboards and is easy to use.


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Hospital-Acquired Infections Cause More Annual Deaths than Diabetes

     This is perhaps the most underrepresented issue in terms of media coverage and notoriety. If you turn on any news channel, you are probably going to hear about someone dying in a car crash a thousand times before you hear about someone dying from a hospital-acquired infection (HAI.) There are usually about 40,000 traffic fatalities on US roads per year. Suicide certainly gets a lot of attention and for good reason. In 2017, 47,173 committed suicide in the US. Diabetes, which is one of the deadliest and most feared diseases killed roughly 80,000 people in 2017. Can you guess how many people die annually from the little talked issue of Hospital-Acquired Infections? If you had to guess based on media coverage, you might surmise that it’s somewhere around a thousand, but it’s actually 99,000 people.

     Hospitals have taken notice of the issue, even if mainstream media hasn’t and have certainly taken measures to avoid these deadly infections. It’s been discovered by the CDC that 80% of infections are spread through hands and as a result, hospitals have taken great measures to make sure everyone is keeping their hands sanitary. However, there is one major problem that has overlooked by many: cell phones.

     Many hospitals are allowing their communication devices to negate their hand hygiene. You see, smartphones are some of the dirtiest devices that we touch. They are ten times dirtier than the average toilet seat. Imagine if your doctor was touching a toilet seat after washing their hands and then treating you. Would you feel safe? Do you see how this can be a problem?

     It’s even worse if you consider that a nurse or a doctor might be treating someone with a contagious illness and then touching their phone. The pathogens that they come in contact with will remain on their phones even after they wash their hands and will continue to negate hand hygiene so long as the phones are being used. So what’s the solution? Are healthcare professionals to stop using their mobile devices? Absolutely not. The genie’s out of the bottle in terms of that. The only logical solution is to disinfect the phones.

     As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Apple and Samsung products aren’t very friendly to cleaning products. I have also been known to recommend the new Seal Screen line of screen protectors that allow for the use of cleaning products to disinfect phones. But there is another more comprehensive solution that healthcare organizations should be aware of. It’s called the ElectroClave.
   
The ElectroClave not only can disinfect several devices at once while simultaneously charging them, but it can also keep track of an entire organization’s phone disinfection habits and remind people when their phone is due for their next disinfection cycle. It’s the most comprehensive UV-C disinfection solution available today and can help a healthcare organization be a part of the movement to reduce HAIs.

Monday, December 2, 2019

How More Comprehensive Infection Control in Hospitals Can Actually Increase IT Efficiency

     What if Infection Solutions were timesaving instead of time-consuming? Seal Shield’s company mantra “Prevent Infections. Save Lives,” gives you a pretty good notion of where the industry’s collective minds have been at for quite some time. But over the next few years, there is expected to be a new rallying cry to go along with the ones of old: “Save Time.” For their groundbreaking UV light disinfection product, the ElectroClave, Seal Shield teamed up with members of some of the top hospitals in the world to create a device that would account for the disinfection status of every mobile device in a hospital.

     Mobile devices have become a major hazard in Infection Control. They are a huge weak spot in the decontamination process. After all, what good does it do to wash your hands, only to go back and touch your dirty phone? Mobile phones have the ability to bring a large degree of efficiency and convenience to the medical field. But what they also do is completely neutralize efforts to prevent infections if they aren’t properly disinfected. The types of pathogens and even feces that are commonly found on mobile devices are staggering.

     Which is where the ElectroClave comes in. This device not only provides a full 360-degree disinfection solution with higher efficacy than any other product on the market, but it can also keep track of the disinfection status of every mobile device in an organization. On top of that, it has the ability to remind each user when it’s time to disinfect their phone. So, the impossible task of keeping track of everyone, while taking their word that they cleaned their phone becomes the very manageable task of letting the ElectroClave do it for you.

     Imagine being asked by the Joint Commission what you were doing to clean your tablets and how often you were doing it and being able to just show them files of objective data that prove that your organization went above and beyond. The ElectroClave on top of being an incredible UV phone cleaner is also the greatest auditor in the world.

     Before your attention span is cut short, there are several more available features worth mentioning that might interest you (seriously this machine does everything short of traveling back in time- where regrettably, you wouldn’t be able to buy an ElectroClave)

  • Gives IT department the ability to scrub data and disinfect simultaneously. Also allows syncing through mobile device management.
  • Intelligent maintenance allows an organization to ensure greatest service-up time of ElectroClave through tracking and automated scheduling of services required
  • Provides secure non-touch access with NFC employee badges. Keeps track of each person who opens the device. This is a premium security feature.