Career Focus: How To Become an Infection Preventionist

by Erica Mitchell | May 18 2018

Last  week,  we celebrated Infection Preventionists, the multi-faceted professionals who keep us safe from hospital-acquired infections. This week, we will explore the various pathways individuals can take to become one of these vital healthcare workers, including degrees and certifications.

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Career Focus: What is an Infection Preventionist?

by Erica Mitchell | May 11 2018

In the 1970s, infection control and prevention became a specialty in it's own right. Since then, the role and expertise of the individual tasked with preventing and controlling infections has grown and evolved. Originally, individuals charged with hospital infection control typically had a nursing background and executed tasks closely related to a clinical nurse specialist - supervision, education, reporting, and clinical expertise. However, recent changes in accountability and hospital finance management have spurred an expansion of duties for this individual, now more appropriately called an "Infection Preventionist." What do these individuals do in a hospital? What are their job expectations and core competencies? Join us as we explore this vital profession within the field of healthcare.

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Nurses: On The Front Lines of Infection Control

by Erica Mitchell | May 4 2018

There is no health care professional more engaged in infection control than a nurse. While the nursing profession offers many levels of responsibility and mastery, every nurse bears the responsibility of controlling and preventing healthcare-acquired infections. In today's post, in honor of National Nurses Week, we will explore the many ways that nurses help keep us safe from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

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World Immunization Week: Health Care Workers and Vaccines

by Erica Mitchell | April 27 2018

No  one could question the positive impact vaccines and the immunization they provide have had on global health. The World Health Organization estimates that immunizations prevent the deaths of between 2-3 million people each year - and could prevent an additional 1.5 million deaths if vaccination efforts were more globally available and accepted. Despite being one of the most cost-effective medical interventions, vaccines are still not universally available, especially in the developing world. And yet, even in those countries where vaccines are readily available, many individuals still choose not to be vaccinated. Who is impacted by this choice?


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National Pet Day: Pets and Pathogens

by Erica Mitchell | April 11 2018

April 11th is National Pet Day! Let's take a moment to focus on the intersection between infection and household pets. There are many sides to this issue: The health of the pet owners, the health of the pets, and the overall household environment. Today we will explore some important information and tips to help everyone stay safe and healthy.

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Why do HAC Scores Look Different?

by Erica Mitchell | April 5 2018

Since the inception of the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP) in 2015, those of us involved in the world of hospital infection control have become used to looking at HAC scores. For a few years, these hospital scores have been expressed as a number between 1 and 10. Now, HAC scores look different: They can be positive or negative, and only seem to be between -3 and +3. What gives?

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What is "Easy to Clean"?

by Erica Mitchell | March 29 2018

Read any hospital design article or walk the floors of any healthcare trade show and you will see these three words: "Easy to Clean." With the growing awareness of the role of the environment in infection control, it's no surprise that furniture and equipment designers are looking to make their products easy to clean. What what does that really mean? Today, we take a look at some ways furniture and related products are designed to be "easy to clean." (We'll look at medical devices and equipment in a future post.)

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How Hospital Scores Are Generated: An Updated Overview

by Erica Mitchell | March 23 2018

Have you ever wondered how hospital scores are created? As we have explored in previous posts, there are a number of organizations and companies that publish hospital scores and ranks for the consumer, in an effort to help individuals make educated choices about their healthcare while also making medical facilities more transparent about their successes and challenges (to varying degrees of success). But where do these scores come from? This post reflects updates since it was first posted in 2015.

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Patient Safety Week 2018

by Erica Mitchell | March 15 2018

Patient Safety Week comes under joint leadership for the first time this year. Combining efforts, the founding organization, the National Patient Safety Foundation, and its new partner, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, will work together to bring their mission of energizing the patient safety agenda nationwide.

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Women In Epidemiology

by Erica Mitchell | March 8 2018

Today is International Women's Day, a day set aside to explore and celebrate the contributions and achievements of women while also bringing visibility to issues of gender disparity that could still use improvement. In today's post, we will look at gender disparities in the medical field, with an emphasis on fields in infection control.

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