In a busy environment it can be very easy for staff to let clutter build on desks and workstations. Some clutter is inevitable like office supplies, personal devices, water bottles, etc. However, not all clutter is harmless when working in the healthcare industry where sensitive information is a part of the daily process.

An employee may leave their key card or keys left on a desk while they run to grab a drink or just step away for a moment. Leaving keys unattended, even for a short time, could give an intruder access to sensitive areas that can put the organization, and their patients, at risk.

Other clutter like sticky notes with user IDs and passwords can really be a problem for the healthcare industry. There might be multiple systems that employees need to access throughout the day so writing their passwords down so they can reference them easily is tempting. Even if an organization’s doors are not open to the public it is very dangerous to have passwords written down, let alone out in the open. Employees have different levels of access to systems so another employee being able to access the credentials of someone else could lead to a breach and puts the organization at risk of an internal attack.

Adopting a Clean- Desk Policy can be a good first step in ensuring employees are conscience of their surroundings and workstations. Putting fliers and notices up can help remind staff to clean up their desk and secure their key cards and keys!