The annual Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology is currenlty underway with a week of educational sessions, poster presentations, and inspiring speakers. One of the important parts of each years' conference is the presentation of APIC's most prestigious award, the Carole DeMille Achievement Award. Today's post will celebrate the infection preventionist in whose honor the award is given, a story that reveals much about the behind-the-scenes progress in the field.
If you spend any time at all in the world of infection control and prevention, you've run across the NHSN, or National Healthcare Safety Network. Those of us who are not directly involved with infection control, however, may lack a full understanding of what the NHSN truly is. Today's post is for those of us who work on the periphery of infection control efforts: An introduction to the NHSN.
Elderly patients needing support for daily activities present unique challenges to the long-term care facilities who care for them. Today's post will conclude our series on nursing home facilities by focusing on the most common infections faced by their residents.
As we age, our bodies go through changes that can make us more susceptible to disease, injury, and infection. Individuals who experience the greatest number of health issues as they age may find that a nursing home or assisted living facility provides the best medical support. Unfortunately, that then places those individuals in a subset of our aging population who is at greatest risk for infection. Today's post will explore how age and infection risk are related.
This week, the Wall Street Journal addressed the growing concern over infection control in America's nursing homes, citing research from a recent paper from the Columbia School of Nursing. The article summarizes the four key obstacles to effective infection control in nursing homes: Overuse of antibiotics, inadequate staff/training, lack of resources, and a lack of data/surveillance. In the next series of posts, we will explore the nursing home landscape, investigating the origin of and solution to each of those four obstacles. Today we will start with an overview of nursing homes.
Despite recent controversies about the quality of care in VA hospitals, the network of 163 acute care hospitals and over 1,000 outpatient clinics is actually a national leader when it comes to many treatments and outcomes. Due to incidents of patient harm stemming from, among other issues, prolonged wait times for procedures, the VA instituted a rigorous self-evaluation as well as evaluation from outside experts. The results pointed to changes needed for improvement, but also revealed successes and positive outcomes where the VA exceeds private sector he alth care. One of those areas is in infection control, and today's post will explore how the VA achieved a leadership role in this area.
Measuring the cost-effectiveness of an infection prevention intervention requires careful translation of complex issues into dollar values: The problems, the possible solutions, the methods of evaluation, and the desired outcomes. The result is a calculation that measures whether or not the costs associated with an intervention are outweighed by the benefits gained by that intervention. Today we will delve into the big ideas behind that final calculation.
When considering an infection prevention intervention, how should the costs calculated? The first question should be what costs should be calculated? With the myriad of direct, indirect, and intangiable costs related to HAIs, where is a facility to start? There are several types of costs to be taken into consideration, and each type will come from different sources. In this post, we will explore how a facility may collect cost data when evaluating a potential new infection intervention.
Any time a healthcare facility considers investing in a new intervention - a medicine, a device, a piece of equipment, and even a training program - one of the first considerations will be cost effectiveness. The facility has a responsibility, both financial and ethical, to weigh the cost of investment with the likelihood and extent of patient benefits. We would all love to live in a world where hospitals could invest in any and all interventions without thought as to cost and return on investment. Instead, we face a reality in which not only are financial resources limited, but also personnel, space, and even time are constrained. As a result, when millions of dollars and patients' lives are at stake, calculating cost effectiveness of an intervention has a lot on the line.
The most recent list of hospitals being penalized by Medicare for patient safety incidents has been published, so we thought it would be a good time to explore the whole issue of Medicare reimbursements, penalties, and safety programs.