Pharmacists are an essential part of a medical team. While many people believe the pharmacist only dispenses medication, their impact on healthcare is far more significant. Hospital pharmacists, for example, can be responsible for making purchasing decisions, monitoring drug therapy, preparing IV medication, and overseeing drug administration. It is this last responsibility that has the greatest impact on infection control: The hospital pharmacists can play a significant role in antibiotic stewardship, one of the key components of reducing dangerous infections.
We live in a time of tremendous advancements in science and medicine. We can save premature babies, reattach severed limbs (how about heads?), and research looks promising to wipe out some pretty terrifying diseases. And yet even recently, humanity still believed some pretty crazy things about where diseases come from... and each of them share haunting similarities to some beliefs we encounter today.
It's that time of year when we all put on our prognosticator's hats and try to predict what the next year will bring. There are numerous entities that have put forth their predictions for healthcare in 2018, so instead of duplicating their fine work, we will try something new. We have gone through all the predictions we could find for healthcare, and put together a list of those we believe will impact infection prevention and control. We hope you enjoy our list!
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!
2017 proved to be a big year for bacteria in the news, and not just in healthcare! Supported by advances in genomic sequencing and other technologies, research into bacteria has arisen in fields as varied as anthropology, climatology, and even aeronautics. Let's take a look at the biggest stories featuring bacteria from this past year.
The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just released a new guide for hospitals to use when preparing for and containing outbreaks. This document helps hospital epidemiologists respond to community outbreaks of infectious diseases as a part of their Outbreak Response Training Program. With this document in mind, we thought it was a good time to review the biggest outbreaks of 2017, the kinds of outbreaks this document is intended to help mitigate.
The medical chart is set to become a thing of the past. Those thick folders containing your medical history are steadily being replaced by electronic health records, or EHR. The Veteran's Administration initiated the first large-scale implementation of these computerized files in the 1970s, but the concept was slow to catch on in general practice until the advent of a combination of powerful and affordable hardware, fast and secure internet, and reliable and seemingly endless cloud storage capabilities. Since then, EHR systems have been shown to make physician visits faster, help coordinate care between multiple offices, and improve health outcomes. Can EHR bring the same success to the fight against hospital acquired infections?
We spend a lot of time here pointing out the dangers of bacteria. In honor of Thanksgiving, however, we're going to take a moment to reflect on all the wonderful and life-giving benefits of bacteria. These unseen organisms help us in so many ways, it would be safe to say we can't live without them. Join us as we explore the kinder side of bacteria.
How do healthcare providers arrive at an HAI diagnosis? A CDC-mandated timing protocol determines whether a patient's infection is healthcare-associated or not. However, it is through a combination of clinical findings, diagnostic testing, and response to treatment that a medical team will determine the presence of an infection in the first place. Today's post will provide a very general overview of the steps a medical team may take in order to diagnose an HAI.
This Saturday is Veteran’s Day, a day to celebrate the dedication and sacrifice of those Americans who served our country as a member of our armed services. One of the best ways to honor our veterans is by ensuring that their return to civilian life is healthy and successful. A significant part of that healthy transition is the benefits available through the Veterans Health Administration, or VA, both through compensation and health care services. Today we will explore the history and future of this health services provider, and well as some of the challenges and achievements it has faced over time.