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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The Invention of Safety

by Erica Mitchell | October 26 2018

The concept of safety is nothing new: Anything that protects us from injury or death has surely been on the mind of humankind since we were hunter-gatherers on the savanna surrounded by carnivores. But mere survival is no longer enough! We want to be able to do what our hearts and minds imagine, but still be mindful of our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. As a result, every field of human endeavor has safety as an essential component, not the least of which are health and medical care. In today's post, we'll look at what unifies all safety concerns across all fields, and highlight some critical inventions that make hospital care safer for everyone.

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It’s Infection Prevention Week!

by Erica Mitchell | October 16 2018

This is the week that the international infection prevention community has selected to bring attention to what they do every day: Help protect patients from avoidable infections while in the care of a healthcare facility. What can you do to participate? Here are a few ideas.

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Conference Poster Presentations

by Erica Mitchell | October 11 2018

It's not a journal article. It's not an oral presentation. But it IS a little of both. In today's post we'll discuss the ins and outs of conference poster presentations, just one of the many ways to disseminate your research and contribute to your field. We'll look at what the posters typically contain, provide some design ideas, and conclude with some of the conferences that might accept research in infection prevention.

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What is HICPAC?

by Erica Mitchell | September 28 2018

We are fortunate to live in a nation that offers a rich variety of non-profit organizations that support our health and well-being, including groups whose sole focus is to eradicate HAIs. Today's post will explore one of the most important national groups working to end preventable hospital-associated infections, most commonly known as HICPAC.

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SCOBY: Microbiology's Odd Couple

by Erica Mitchell | September 21 2018

A seismic shift in human civilization occurred when we learned how to plant and harvest our own food. The advent of agriculture meant access to more plentiful and more reliable food than a hunter-gatherer lifestyle could ever provide. However, as any amateur gardener knows, agriculture also means your whole crop is ready at around the same time. In order to make a crop full of produce last longer, people needed to discover ways to keep their harvest from going bad. Meat could be salted or smoked, fruit could be dried or cooked, but for everything else, there was fermentation. And for fermentation, you need microbiology's Odd Couple.

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Hurricane Epidemiology: After The Storm

by Erica Mitchell | September 12 2018

Florence is about to pummel North and South Carolina. Right behind, Isaac and Helene are brewing. In the Pacific, Olivia is heading to Hawaii, with Paul just behind. Asia is facing Barijat and Mangkhut. Welcome to hurricane season, 2018! Areas facing storms are preparing to weather high winds, heavy rain, and flooding. However, as with all hurricanes of this magnitude, the dangers to life and limb are not limited to the duration of the actual storm- the weeks that follow bring a whole new set of dangerous conditions. Today's post will explore the dangers that involve infectious disease and the overall access to medical care.

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What is the Continuum of Care?

by Erica Mitchell | September 7 2018

Discussions about healthcare often involve the expression "continuum of care." Why is this description becoming more common? What can we learn about the state of healthcare today by unpacking this term? Today's post will explore what is meant by this popular phrase.

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