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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American Medical Hero: Dr. Ruth E. Moore

by Erica Mitchell | February 12 2018

The first African-American to join the American Society for Microbiology was a woman. The first African-American to receive a PhD in Microbiology was a woman. And that woman, who overcame obstacles not only related to race but also gender, was Dr. Ruth E. Moore. We take a moment today to recognize this important scientist, whose contributions to the field as a researcher, professor, and leader have inspired generations of microbiologists.

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American Medical Hero: William A. Hinton

by Erica Mitchell | February 2 2018

Hinton Final-01.jpgFebruary marks a month to celebrate the vital role of African-Americans in our nation's history. Today, we will take some time to recognize an incredible individual who left a tremendous legacy in the world of microbiology, saving countless lives in the process. Please join us as we remember Dr. William A. Hinton, researcher, physician, mentor, and leader.

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Etymology and Microbiology: Words Matter

by Erica Mitchell | January 26 2018

ETYMOLOGY 1-01.jpgLanguage is by far the most astonishing difference between humans and all other life on Earth. The richness, diversity, prevalence and pervasiveness of language and communication throughout all cultures in every part of the world attests to the critical connection between words and thought, words and culture, and words and survival. As humans discovered, explained, or invented, they built upon familiar concepts and familiar terms, leading to a language that evolved alongside civilization. Today's post will explore the fascinating history of some of the key terms in microbiology, and reveal how science and language helped each other along into the modern era.

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Endogenous vs. Exogenous Infections: It's All About Crowd Control

by Erica Mitchell | January 21 2018

ENDO EXO infections-01.jpgAre all hospital-acquired infections due to contaminated surfaces? It turns out that some infections - even those as the result of a procedure - are not due to contaminated surfaces, devices, or heath care workers. Sometimes a patient becomes infected by germs in their environment, but sometimes the infections stems from microorganisms in or on their own bodies. Today's post will explore both types of infections and the implications for hospital infection control.

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