Not properly cleaning a glucometer isn't the biggest infection control procedural lapse in a hospital setting, Perz explains. Far worse is reuse of fingerstick devices used to draw the blood and put it on a test strip on more than one patient.
Also bad practice is when insulin pens are used on more than one patient. "The greatest risk involves devices that go from patient to patient, and make direct contact with the patient," Perz explains.
But the glucometer can also be a source of infection among patients through healthcare workers, or even gloves or articles of clothing that imperceptibly touch the device.
Here's how that can happen. The healthcare worker draws the blood from the patient's finger, puts it on a test strip and then inserts it into a nearby glucometer, where a few minutes later the monitor calculates a glucose level.