amount of radioactive trace was placed on the handle of the
light fixture that shines in your eyes while the hygienist is
cleaning your teeth or during the dentist’s more complicated
work. Protocol requires that handle to be carefully covered
with a sticky plastic tab intended to insure newly gloved
hands of the operator remain clean even while periodically
adjusting that fixture and to preclude transfer of whatever
resides there. Before the arrival of each new patient, office
procedure dictates new gloves for each hygienist and dentist, a new paper tray to hold instruments newly cleaned
or delivered in sealed bags, a new plastic tab to cover the
light fixture’s handle, etc. The office also frequently uses
the ubiquitous squirt bottles of disinfectant on counters and
surfaces, before and after each patient procedure.
Fast forward: a Geiger counter later reveals trace radiation
on the receptionist’s telephone, in file cabinets, in the bathroom, in multiple locations in examination and treatment
rooms and even on door handles of patients’ cars outside.
Another time, I was discussing our touchless, holographic
Holo Touch® HMI technology with the manager of a soup pro-
duction plant. Their transfer valves are opened and closed by
touching icons on a touch screen. He admitted that occasion-
How important are intuitive, durable and clean con- trols for equipment used in your business? As a practical matter, controls that require operators to actually touch them, wearing gloves or
not, can never be really clean, however many protocols or chemicals are employed. Besides, tactile controls with moving parts
can fail from use or abuse, leading to expensive replacement and
production downtime. And operators who spend shifts pushing
buttons or using keypads or keyboards are susceptible to carpal
tunnel syndrome or other work-related maladies.
This article explores simple and inexpensive ways to have
touchless controls that are cost-effective and reliable, easy to
use and tough but free of contamination transfer. Using the
most effective technology for controls not only underlines
commitment to the newest and best practices but also saves
money from equipment repair and replacement, reduces production downtime and limits liability for damages related to
contamination transfer and operator repetitive stress claims.
THE INITIAL SPARK
A simple test captured our interest. In a busy dentist’s
■ By R. Douglas McPheters, President of HoloTouch, Inc.
office, where sanitation is supposedly an obsession, a tiny
Eliminating touch eliminates contamination
Pharmaceutical Controls with
Zero Contamination Transfer