DNV GL Certification in Infection Prevention: Mitigating Risk on the High Seas and in Hospitals

by Erica Mitchell | June 9 2019

There are many ways a hospital can be assured that it is performing well. They can conduct internal assessments of patient outcomes, look at patient surveys, and consider staff feedback. They can also get outside opinions from organizations whose sole purpose is to evaluate hospitals using national standards. Releasing the results of both internal and external evaluations enable transparency in healthcare, benefiting both the facility and the consumer. In today's post, we'll explore one of the more recent organizations that accredits hospitals, DNV GL.

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What is Fidelity in Research?

by Erica Mitchell | June 2 2019

We have all heard about validity and reliability in research. Validity tells us that your results actually measure what you wanted to measure. Reliability means your results can be consistently reproduced. But before either of those two attributes of research can be considered, there is fidelity: Did you conduct your research as planned? In today's post, we'll explore the lesser-known member of this research quality triumvirate.

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Construction, Renovation, and Infection Prevention

by Erica Mitchell | May 24 2019

So much of the success of infection control and prevention teams is the establishment of routines that promote best practices: Easy-to-access hand hygiene stations, checklists, terminal cleaning protocols, and a built environment that supports a lower bioburden all work together to help reduce transmission of pathogens. Disruptions to those routines open gaps where opportunistic microorganisms can sneak in and wreak havoc. While some of those disruptions can be avoided, there is a predictable, massive disruption facing all healthcare facilities: Renovation and construction projects. Today's post will explore some of the threats introduced by construction projects and what the facility can do to minimize HAIs.

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5 Design Updates to Make Sinks Safer

by Erica Mitchell | May 17 2019

Our efforts to reduce hospital acquired infections (HAIs) may have hit a challenging conundrum. On the one hand, we know that handwashing is essential to break the chain of transmission from infected (or colonized) host to vulnerable patient. On the other hand, one of the key tools in facilitating handwashing has been recently demonstrated to play a role in transmitting pathogens. That tool? The sink. Many think sinks are beginning to tip the balance toward doing more harm than good.

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What is the ARLAB Network?

by Erica Mitchell | May 10 2019

As a response to the growing global and national threat of antibiotic resistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established a network of labs whose sole mission is to help detect, prevent, contain and respond to outbreaks of antibiotic resistant pathogens. Today's post will explore this mission and how it is implemented.

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What is CORHA?

by Erica Mitchell | May 3 2019

There are many organizations that support healthcare facilities facing an outbreak. State and local public health departments, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and many others all play a role in helping hospitals handle outbreak scenarios. In today's post, we'll explore the organization that brings them all together: CORHA.

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What is the Microbiome?

by Erica Mitchell | April 21 2019

One of the fastest-growing research sectors is the investigation of the human microbiome. We read articles about using the microbiome to keep us healthy and even to cure us from disease. What is the microbiome? In today’s post, we’ll explore this invisible but essential part of our existence.

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C. auris: Resistance is Everything

by Erica Mitchell | April 13 2019

The latest notorious pathogen to receive national press coverage is C. auris, a newcomer to the field and a threat with global implications. Joining the ranks of CRE, VRE, C. difficile and MRSA, this fungus is particularly sensational due to its novelty, it's seemingly spontaneous independent evolution on three continents, and it's high mortality rate. In today's post, we'll go over the basic story of C. auris, and end with some thoughts on how best to use a national story to bring about local change.

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Three CHEERS for the TREND to CONSORT with ORION at the EQUATOR: Or, Reporting Guidelines for Research

by Erica Mitchell | April 5 2019

For almost every type of research design, there is an expert-created set of reporting guidelines that attempts to standardize how data is shared. Each sporting their own impressive acronym, these reporting guidelines exist to help improve the quality of research by establishing a checklist of reminders for researchers about what is essential to each research design. So get out your spoon as we dive into this alphabet soup and learn the basics of each reporting guideline statement.

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Hygieia: Protector of the Infection Preventionist

by Erica Mitchell | March 29 2019

If those of us involved in the world of infection control and prevention lived in Ancient Greece, we would have surely found a home in the followers of Hygieia, the mythical goddess of cleanliness and sanitation and the origin of the word hygiene. While her sisters were worrying about healing, recuperation, and remedy, Hygieia was working to prevent illness by cleaning and advocating sanitary practices. (Sound familiar?) In today's post, the last in our series recognizing Women's History Month, we'll take a look at this figure, what she represented, and what she can teach us about the origins of the field of infection prevention.

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