- OSHA Healthcare Advisor - http://blogs.hcpro.com/osha -

No more reading in the hospital waiting room—stare at the wall and don’t touch a thing

What do you do in a hospital waiting room? Staring at the algae covered fish tank gets boring after a while so you switch to watching the baby run around in nothing but a diaper, which can only hold your attention so long. But to your left is a giant basket full of magazines: People, Woman’s Day, National Geographic, and Health. Jackpot.

Flipping through magazines usually makes time fly by as you wait, but in a recent article published by CBC News in Canada, one hospital is banning magazines in waiting rooms to avoid the spread of germs [1].

Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital is in the spotlight. Michael Gardam is the director of infection prevention and control for Toronto’s University Health Network and favors the banning of magazines.

“If you’ve got somebody who’s in isolation because they’ve got C. difficile or some other super bug, and they’re reading that magazine, you don’t really want to put that back on the rack for another person,” he said to CBC News.

Gardam also questioned the disinfecting of magazines, pointing out that there is no easy way to do it, said CBC News.

How about toys in the waiting room for children? OSHA Healthcare Advisor published a post pertaining to guidelines for keeping toys in a waiting room [2].

Waiting rooms aren’t the only area scrutinized for infection control. Check out the physician practice infection control checklist on the Tools page [3].

Is the hospital being too strict in taking away the magazines that help pass the time in waiting rooms ? What sort of actions can healthcare settings take to avoid the spread of infectious disease? Let us know in the comment section below.

[4] Infection Control Manual for the Physician’s Office. [4] Learn how to stop an outbreak before it spreads. Primary care physicians will be on the front lines to detect, treat and manage an infectious disease outbreak when it hits. Understand how infection control (IC) applies to the ambulatory process and the steps physicians and their staff should take to protect patients, staff from the spread of infectious diseases.