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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17-21

Change in perception regarding the use of Biometric devices at a tertiary care hospital in view of COVID-19

1 DepartmentofMicrobiology,AtalBihariVajpayeeInstituteofMedicalSciences,Dr.RamManoharLohiaHospital,NewDelhi, India
2 Department ofCommunityMedicine,R.G.KarMedicalCollegeandHospital,Kolkata,WestBengal, India
3 DepartmentofMicrobiology,AtalBihariVajpayeeInstituteofMedicalSciences,Dr.RamManoharLohiaHospital,NewDelhi; DepartmentofMicrobiology,UCMSandGTBH,Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arvind Achra
DepartmentofMicrobiology,AtalBihariVajpayeeInstituteofMedicalSciences,Dr.RamManoharLohiaHospital, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpsic.jpsic_3_21

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Background: Fingerprint biometric systems are used to identify personnel, grant authorised access and maintain attendance of staff at most places. Despite their many benefits, biometric devices are potential sources of transmission due to contamination from multiple touches by various users. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been massive shift in infection control practices specially hand hygiene. This study was conducted to understand the attitude and practices of healthcare workers (HCWs) they are likely to follow when biometric devices come to use again. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted using a self-designed questionnaire given to HCWs in different departments of the hospital in the form of a written form by our infection control nurses. The study was conducted for 5 days. The questionnaire was based on various attitudes and practices before and after the COVID-19 outbreak. Results: Overall 304 participants filled the questionnaire, which comprised 85 (28%) doctors, 117 (38.4%) nurses and 102 (33.6%) other staff. Before the emergence of COVID-19, 114 (37.5%) participants felt touching biometric devices is more dangerous than touching other common items such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, countertops and staircase railings which now increased to 183 (60.2%) after the COVID-19. Earlier 77% of participants felt that hand sanitisers should be installed near biometric devices, but now 95.7% feel the need of hand sanitisers near the biometric devices and want to use them. Conclusion: This improvement in hand hygiene might be a result of increased awareness through educational programmes and mass media during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hand sanitisers should be installed near biometric devices before restarting their use which will reduce the risk of contamination of biometric devices by pathogenic organisms.

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