It's hard to quantify the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on healthcare. We can list numbers of lives lost, ventilators used, masks needed, or swabs ordered. But outside the crisis caused directly by the spread of COVID-19, there is a ripple effect on other aspects of healthcare. In today's post, we'll look at the health crisis within the health crisis - the issues leading to additional strain on our health care system and our patient populations.
While the general population may use terms like sterilizer, disinfectant and sanitizer interchangeably, they actually have very specific definitions according to the government agency that regulates them, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These definitions include what percentage of pathogens must be killed, in what specific amount of time they must be killed, and what protocols must be tested to achieve registration. All of these parameters are defined by the EPA and are not chosen or designated by the manufacturer.
These past few weeks we have been exploring what we can learn from infection preventionists as we navigate life during a pandemic. Especially now as more of us prepare to leave self-isolation and shelter-in-place, we need to learn from the experts how best to stay safe and keep others safe. In today's post, we'll look at the two types of major personal protective equipment (PPE) you may be using as you re-enter work, appointments, and recreation: Masks and gloves. At the end, you'll also find our infographic with visual representation of the different kinds of masks and the glove removal process.
During this ongoing pandemic, nurses are receiving some well deserved gratitude for their critical role in caring for patients. We couldn't get through this without them. There is no health care professional more engaged in infection control than a nurse. While the nursing profession offers many levels of responsibility and mastery, every nurse bears the responsibility of controlling and preventing healthcare-acquired infections. In today's post, in honor of National Nurses Week, we will explore the many ways that nurses help keep us safe from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
There are no better professionals to emulate than infection preventionists during this time of transition between social distancing and returning to the new normal. These are skilled healthcare workers that know what it takes to keep infections from spreading - or from infecting in the first place. What can we learn from these healthcare professionals as we return to work and life after stay-at-home orders?
As states consider timelines for re-opening their communities to work and recreation, we are experiencing an interesting convergence. Just as we are looking ahead to what the data needs to show in order to reopen safely, we are also looking back at the earliest cases to learn more about the disease. Why is it so important to revisit early cases, seek out overlooked cases, and even assign probable cases? In today's post, we'll examine how knowing as much as possible about the past can help us prepare for the future.
Included in recent news about COVID-19, hospital isolation rooms have made headlines. Retrofitting of regular hospital units and emergency construction of public spaces to increase capacity for treating highly contagious patients are just some of the areas utilizing innovative technologies. But isolation rooms are not just for protecting the uninfected - they also create a clean environment for the patient whose immune system may be compromised. What goes into designing and building an isolation room? What can we learn from the best practices in these rooms to apply to our lives as the world starts to exists extreme self-isolation?
Masks in the grocery store. Kids learning from home. Supply chains interrupted. Heartbreaking statistics. This is life during the COVID-19 pandemic. During these difficult times, there is probably no more universal question than "When can life go back to normal?" In today's post, we'll look at the critical steps necessary before life can at least start going back to normal and we can all start to rebuild together.
In this series of posts on how to clean your house, we’ve covered some important lessons from the cleanest hospitals: Know your pathogen, pick the right cleaner, and level of disinfection. Today we will focus on the where and what of household cleaning, what hospitals call “touch points.”
There is an astounding array of cleaning products available at your local store, online, and probably just sitting under your sink. Does it matter what you use to clean up after someone in your family has been ill? Absolutely. Today's post will help you pick the right product for your clean-up requirements.