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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What Types of Hospitals are there in the US?

by Erica Mitchell | February 26 2018

There are 5,627 registered hospitals in the United States. Those facilities can be divided in a variety of categories depending on size, location, demographics, finances, and affiliation. Today's post will explore the various categories into which any given hospital can be assigned. Knowing these categories can help consumers better understand the context of the hospitals from which they have to choose.

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What if Hospitals were Scored Like Winter Olympic Sports?

by Erica Mitchell | February 20 2018

As the 2018 Winter Olympics draw to a close, we remember so many performances by talented and determined athletes from around the world. The speed, agility, strength, and stamina of these young men and women is obvious. Less obvious are the complex rules and scoring for the 15 winter sports and their 102 events. In a way, the complicated rules and scoring might remind someone of the complicated algorithms for hospital scoring! Taking this idea a little further, we wondered... What if hospitals were scored like Winter Olympics sports?

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Presidents and Pathogens

by Erica Mitchell | February 18 2018

Less than a century ago, in a world without antibiotics and limited treatments for infections, the leading causes of death were infections - pneumonia or flu, followed closely by tuberculosis and gastrointestinal infections. Everyone knew someone who had died from one of these infections, and most families had experienced the tragedy of losing at least one young child to infection. No one was spared this very human experience, not even United States presidents. In today's post, as we learn about how pathogens impacted the lives of our presidents, we'll get a better picture of just how pernicious infections were just a short time ago.

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HAIs: Major Heartache

by Erica Mitchell | February 14 2018

It's no wonder why we have long associated the heart with life and love. It races when we are nervous or exerting ourselves. It beats with comforting regularity, loud enough for us to hear when we rest our heads against a loved ones chest. Its pulse is an indicator of health and life, a central hub keeping our body functioning. And unfortunately, when this central hub is affected by an infection, the entire body is at risk. Today we will explore how hospital-acquired infections can affect the heart, often with far-reaching implications.

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