Audit of the Killer Stethoscopes

This presentation was the result of an audit completed by our Broome ED JMOs.

Drs Laura Smith, James Wright and Peter Richardson decided to place our stethoscopes under the microscope – quite literally.

We all know about the importance of hand-washing and other infection control measures, but rarely do we consider the ubiquitous ‘tubes’ as potential vectors for hospital acquired infections.

So – be honest…. take this poll before you watch the presentation.  The audit might surprise your – or just confirm your suspicions!

EDITOR: The poll is now closed.  But in summary – the doctors suspected that their stethoscopes were dirty.  They didn’t wash them much and had a relatively poor knowledge of the best cleaning techniques for the trusty stethoscope

;  Here is the presentation – BROOME STETHOSCOPE AUDIT…. it is a Power Point – so download it somewhere where data usage doesn’t matter too much!

Stethoscope Audit – Broome 2013 latest draft-1

Big thanks to Laura, James and Pete – great job.  Thanks for bringing this to light and making us all feel a little bit grubby!


  1. Nice bit of research, Casey. Well done to Laura, James and Peter. I think the most important outcome of this is that most people know they should be cleaning their steth more often than they actually are. There needs to be an environmental shift to allow that to happen more easily. Eg – handwashing is much easier with hand-gel outside each patients room. Maybe there needs to be a stash of alcowipes and a small rubbish container right next to the hand gel so that it’s forefront in people’s minds and easy to accomplish without impacting on the already busy work-day.

  2. Enlightening research Casey and congratulations to the team (James, Laura and Peter) for the effort and dedication they put to bring this sensitive issue to light. I too agree that a stronger emphasis has to be put on cleaning stethoscopes and bringing awareness to the issue can be a good thing.

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