While prevention is always the goal when it comes to a hospital-acquired infection, rapid diagnosis is essential to better outcomes. The sooner the physician knows which pathogen is causing the infection, the sooner she can prescribe the correct antibiotic. The sooner the medical team can determine if a patient is cleared of infection, the sooner that patient can be removed from isolation. Unfortunately, traditional diagnosing requires samples from the patient be plated and cultured, a process that can take from 16 hours to several weeks. However, a technology exists that allows pathogens to be identified in just a few hours. Over the course of two posts, we will explore the transformative technology of polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, and the impact it is having on hospital infection control.
This fall, some proposed changes in the way hospitals and other healthcare facilities report data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) may take effect. Many news articles covering these proposed changes seem to indicate that critical public access to this data, specifically, the Hospital Compare website, may stop providing up-to-date HAI statics, or may even cease to exist altogether. While no final rule has been published, we were able to secure a response from CMS about their plans for Hospital Compare. Today's post will present their response.
The world shared a collective sigh of relief as word spread that the last of the trapped Thai soccer team was rescued from their 17-day underground ordeal. After international efforts to find the lost team, the immediate tasks centered on providing the malnourished and weak group with immediate medical care. While plans for their extraction were going full-force, the twelve boys and their coach received food, clean water, and most importantly, oxygen to the tiny rock shelf that had provided shelter as monsoon flood waters rose around them. With the entire group now safely above-ground, it appears the worst of the ordeal is behind them. As the boys recover under quarantine, medical specialists now have the task of determining what, if any, pathogens followed them out of this nightmare. Today’s post will explore some of the infection risks faced by this group as the rescue efforts continue at the patient bedside.