Sunday, February 6, 2011



United States Patent Office issued patent no. 7,851,517 to Lisa Holmes for all manner of antimicrobial plastic cards and holders.

“I came upon the problem during on a site visit to Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2005,” said Lisa Holmes. She observed a caregiver bending over a veteran patient. This VA staff member touched the patient with her government ID Badge, who then turned and touched another patient with the same badge.

The patent holder worked on infection control issues as industry rep to the American Society of Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES). She also worked on issues relating to credentialing for the American Logistics Association. Lastly working in non medical supplies, she was aware of the recent introduction of antimicrobial pens and keyboards.

In that moment, Lisa realized that the transfer of microbes, viruses and other sources of contamination via cards or like devices (e.g., credit cards, drivers' licenses, membership cards, hotel room keys, department store cards, employee badges, name badge holders and so forth), may have  been overlooked. Card manufacturing companies have focused on safeguarding the security of the data on the card, but not the card itself. That in fact, cross-contamination could be controlled and limited by using her new invention.

As a world traveler she observed that personal items are routinely handled by numerous individuals on a daily basis. Government, airports, hospitals, restaurants, retail stores, and security jobs can handle and be exposed to hundreds of cards per day… through her work in healthcare, and consumable products she understood there could be a solution and set about to solve this problem.

Interesting FAQs:

  • Identity badges worn by hospital, government and other professions may be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, which could be transmitted to patients, co-workers.
  • bacteria, fungi, virus or other microbes can live on the surface of an ID or credit cardfor up to 6 hours after contact
  • plastic cards can carry germs, and without precautions, you can become a host for flu and other bugs
  • some of the hardiest germs can successfully reproduce on plastic surfaces for weeks
  • employees are reluctant to clean or disinfect plastic identification cards for fear the cleaner or disinfectant will damage the card
See the following articles: 


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