What is The Chargemaster?

by Erica Mitchell | January 11 2019

With the new year came a new transparency to health care: The public posting of prices by hospitals across the nation. The idea was to help consumers make better financial choices about their healthcare and motivate hospitals to make prices more competitive. But as hospitals begin to roll out their price lists, what consumers are accessing is not a neat menu of options, but rather a door to a complex, changing world of codes, acronyms, and abbreviations known as The Chargemaster.

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2019 Healthcare Trends

by Erica Mitchell | January 4 2019

The New Year could not be complete without a range of predictions about the 12 months to come. In today's post, we'll bring together five of the leading predictions for healthcare and reflect on their possible impact on hospital infection control.

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Germs and the Season of Giving

by Erica Mitchell | December 18 2018

It is the season of giving, with many of us exchanging gifts and well-wishes. Hugs are given. Kisses on the cheeks. Handshakes. Oh-so-many excellent opportunities to give the gift that no one wants - germs! To avoid spreading germs this season, there are a few simple steps you can take. And in the event that someone does bring home an unwelcome holiday guest, use our cleaning infographic to keep that bug from continuing his holiday tour!

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Germs in the News: 2018 Edition

by Erica Mitchell | December 14 2018

Bacteria and infection made news headlines this year, from outbreaks to breakthroughs. Today's post will explore some of the biggest news stories of the year as we begin to wind down 2018.

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Medical Tourism and HAIs

by Erica Mitchell | December 7 2018

As  the holiday season approaches, many of us are planning to travel to see loved ones or take a well-deserved vacation. A growing number of Americans are planning a different type of trip: Going abroad for medical care. From elective procedures to fertility services, more and more Americans are traveling to developing countries to receive medical care at a fraction of the cost similar procedures would cost in the US. While these numbers have not grown at the pace some predicted, there is still a significant portion of our population who will be participating in what is now called "medical tourism." Today's post will explore what potential medical tourists should consider in order to avoid a healthcare-associated infection.

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Copper and Our Innate Immune System

by Erica Mitchell | November 30 2018

We spend a good amount of time on this blog discussing the new uses of the biocidal properties of copper. We look to the past civilizations that used copper to kill bacteria without knowing the mechanisms behind it - the Ancient Egyptians who used copper in wounds, the Ancient Greeks who used it in plumbing, and the seafaring explorers who used it to store drinking water. But there is actually a far, far more ancient use of copper to combat infection: Our own innate immune system.

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Thankful For: Copper Research

by Erica Mitchell | November 21 2018

This Thanksgiving season we are grateful for the growing body of research into the biocidal activity of copper - in any form. Over the past two years, numerous studies have emerged from all over the world demonstrating the ability of copper to not only kill bacteria in the lab, but also in patient rooms. We are thankful for this research because it serves to solidify the scientific foundation upon which our mission is built: To lead with the science and let the data speak for itself. And also because it brings us closer to the ultimate goal of zero harm.

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Emojis, Social Media and Infection Control

by Erica Mitchell | November 16 2018

In the October 2018 12.1 iPhone update, a number of emoji premiered that should get any phone-carrying, text-message-typing Infection Preventionist in a good mood. Nestled among the smilies, foods, holidays, and flags are a lab coat, a sponge, a bar of soap, DNA, a test tube, and most excitingly, a microbe and a cultured petri dish! We can only imagine the ways you all will use these new emoji! In honor of this new addition, we’re going to examine how infection control activities involve social media.

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What is an antibiogram?

by Erica Mitchell | November 9 2018

One of the tools available to infection preventionists, hospital epidemiologists and healthcare practitioners is the antibiogram. While not all facilities or networks will have an up-to-date version of this report, they are becoming more common. What is an antibiogram and how can it be used? In simple terms, an antibiogram is a report that shows how susceptible strains of pathogens are to a variety of antibiotics.

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What Outbreaks Can Teach Us

by Erica Mitchell | November 2 2018

Anyone  who  reads about the recent fatal healthcare-associated infections in New Jersey shares in the nation's sorrow at the loss of children to a potentially preventable condition. No group, however, can truly understand the emerging details about these cases better than the national community of infection preventionists. These healthcare workers know what a complex and demanding job it is to keep patients safe from HAIs. But as more details emerge from both outbreaks, they serve to remind the nation that infection prevention is an essential component of any healthcare facility, requiring dedicated funding for staff and supplies.

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