5 Design Updates to Make Sinks Safer

by Erica Mitchell | May 17 2019

Our efforts to reduce hospital acquired infections (HAIs) may have hit a challenging conundrum. On the one hand, we know that handwashing is essential to break the chain of transmission from infected (or colonized) host to vulnerable patient. On the other hand, one of the key tools in facilitating handwashing has been recently demonstrated to play a role in transmitting pathogens. That tool? The sink. Many think sinks are beginning to tip the balance toward doing more harm than good.

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What is the ARLAB Network?

by Erica Mitchell | May 10 2019

As a response to the growing global and national threat of antibiotic resistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established a network of labs whose sole mission is to help detect, prevent, contain and respond to outbreaks of antibiotic resistant pathogens. Today's post will explore this mission and how it is implemented.

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What is CORHA?

by Erica Mitchell | May 3 2019

There are many organizations that support healthcare facilities facing an outbreak. State and local public health departments, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and many others all play a role in helping hospitals handle outbreak scenarios. In today's post, we'll explore the organization that brings them all together: CORHA.

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What is the Microbiome?

by Erica Mitchell | April 21 2019

One of the fastest-growing research sectors is the investigation of the human microbiome. We read articles about using the microbiome to keep us healthy and even to cure us from disease. What is the microbiome? In today’s post, we’ll explore this invisible but essential part of our existence.

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C. auris: Resistance is Everything

by Erica Mitchell | April 13 2019

The latest notorious pathogen to receive national press coverage is C. auris, a newcomer to the field and a threat with global implications. Joining the ranks of CRE, VRE, C. difficile and MRSA, this fungus is particularly sensational due to its novelty, it's seemingly spontaneous independent evolution on three continents, and it's high mortality rate. In today's post, we'll go over the basic story of C. auris, and end with some thoughts on how best to use a national story to bring about local change.

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Three CHEERS for the TREND to CONSORT with ORION at the EQUATOR: Or, Reporting Guidelines for Research

by Erica Mitchell | April 5 2019

For almost every type of research design, there is an expert-created set of reporting guidelines that attempts to standardize how data is shared. Each sporting their own impressive acronym, these reporting guidelines exist to help improve the quality of research by establishing a checklist of reminders for researchers about what is essential to each research design. So get out your spoon as we dive into this alphabet soup and learn the basics of each reporting guideline statement.

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Hygieia: Protector of the Infection Preventionist

by Erica Mitchell | March 29 2019

If those of us involved in the world of infection control and prevention lived in Ancient Greece, we would have surely found a home in the followers of Hygieia, the mythical goddess of cleanliness and sanitation and the origin of the word hygiene. While her sisters were worrying about healing, recuperation, and remedy, Hygieia was working to prevent illness by cleaning and advocating sanitary practices. (Sound familiar?) In today's post, the last in our series recognizing Women's History Month, we'll take a look at this figure, what she represented, and what she can teach us about the origins of the field of infection prevention.

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Microbiology's ACE: Alice Catherine Evans

by Erica Mitchell | March 22 2019

In today's post, we take a look back into the history of microbiology in our continued celebration of Women's History Month. The field of bacteriology started to pick up steam at the beginning of the 1900s, well before the time when women started receiving the same educational opportunities as their male peers. Nonetheless, one of the leaders of the field was Alice Catherine Evans, a researcher who overcame professional and cultural bias while making breakthrough discoveries that saved countless lives.

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Space is the Place for Women in Microbiology

by Erica Mitchell | March 15 2019

Thanks to films like Hidden Figures and the growing attention to the role women
play NASA, we are becoming aware of just how critical women have been throughout the development of our nation's space program. Not only in the fields of mathematics, computing, engineering, and aeronautics, women at NASA have also been a vital part of biological research. At critical intersections of space and microcosm exploration, there have been women scientists at the cutting edge.

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CDC Says MRSA Reductions Have Stalled: Have we hit the limit of human processes?

by Erica Mitchell | March 8 2019

Just a week before the beginning of Patient Safety Week 2019, a disheartening report has come out of the CDC showing that no significant reductions in national MRSA rates have been seen since 2013. While previous years had seen an average of 17% reductions annually, this progress slowed to 7% per year from 2013-2016. The CDC's conclusions? We'll explore them in today's post.

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