Starting 2014 with a cleaner (Surface) slate

As physicians, nurses, clinical case managers, home health providers and others who work in health and healthcare have discovered, the slate tablet computer is becoming a preferred device for busy healthcare professionals. The slate tablet’s highly mobile form factor, touch interface, high resolution screen, and long battery life make it an ideal companion for clinical computing. Clinicians and healthcare IT professionals are also drawn to a new generation of Windows tablet devices from a variety of manufacturers that meet the enterprise connectivity, privacy and security requirements of today’s hospital and clinic environments. 

imageWhile there will always be minor deficiencies for any computing device that is manufactured for general industrial or consumer use when it comes to its use in healthcare, it has been rewarding to see the uptake of tablets in clinical settings. That certainly has been the case for Microsoft’s own line of Surface tablet computers (as well as a line-up of terrific new devices from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and others). Over the next few years, I fully expect some of these manufacturers will develop a line of devices specifically built to meet more of the unique requirements of the healthcare industry. In the meantime, one of the questions that always comes up is how best to clean or sanitize a tablet device that is going to be used in healthcare settings.

While each manufacturer will have its own guidelines on how best to clean a particular make and model of tablet computer for use in healthcare settings, I am pleased to share the following,  just-announced recommendations from Microsoft’s Surface division.

“Healthcare customers can sanitize Microsoft Surface2 and Surface Pro2 devices using one of our recommended solutions—PDI Sani-Cloth Plus, CaviWipes, Covidien Alcohol Prep Pads, or any similar wipes with IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) solution under 70%--without risk of damaging the device. These same solutions can also be used to clean the Surface Type Cover 2 (except fabric area) and Touch Cover 2.  In general, users should not douse the unit with solution, but rather use pre-moistened wipes or apply IPA to application cloth and use the cloth on the unit. We do not recommend the use of bleach-based products”

So there you have it. Now you know how to start 2014 with a cleaner slate.

Happy New Year!

Bill Crounse, MD   Senior Director, Worldwide Health       Microsoft


Comments (4)

  1. PanuS says:

    Thank you for the information! Is it safe to assume that the same cleaning guidelines can be used with Surface v1 devices?

  2. hlthblog says:


    Thanks for writing. Yes, I see no reason why the guidance would not apply to v1 Surface devices as the exterior materials are mostly identical.


  3. Kristi Jackson says:

    Is there a link directly from microsoft on this information?  Our hospital has recently implemented using these tablets, but we are unable to find this information from Microsoft.  We don't want our warranties to be null and void.

    Thank you,

  4. Greg Davidson says:


    I'm the healthcare industry manager on the Surface team.  Unfortunately, we don't have this information posted on the Microsoft website.  In general, the quote in the blog above is the official Surface position.  If you'd like to discuss further, please email me at  Thanks.

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