There are may different pathogens that cause HAIs. Researchers have studied which of these infectious agents tend to cause infections, how those pathogens are transmitted, and which protocols lead to less contamination. Today we'll explore which pathogens cause hospital-acquired infections, which are the most common, and how long can these pathogens survive on surfaces where they can lead to cross-contamination. Think of it as the three P's: Pathogen, Prevalence, and Persistence.
Terminal cleaning is a thorough, deep-cleaning of a patient room between occupants. Its purpose is to rid the room of infectious agents and provide the new occupant a sanitary space for recovery and healing. Terminal cleaning protocols vary by hospital, but the CDC, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has recommendations for environmental cleaning, including terminal cleaning. This advice includes the staff involved in monitoring and evaluating cleaning, the training of environmental staff, and the analysis of data collected through regular assessments.
As concerns over hospital-acquired infections have grown over the past decades, innovative technologies have been invented to aid in the reduction of germs in the patient room, what specialists call the "bioburden". Since numerous studies have proven that patients are infected as a result of a contaminated environment (and not just contaminated individuals) these technologies have emphasized testing the surfaces in the room for proof of effective cleaning. Only recently has bacteria-killing technology emerged that supplements the cleaning done by environmental staff. This post will outline the 4 innovative technologies that assist a hospital in ensuring a clean, sanitary room for each patient.
When we enter a hospital room as a patient, we are seeing the room at its cleanest. The room has just been scrubbed down during what is called "terminal cleaning," the rigorous cleaning that takes place after one patient is moved in preparation for the next patient to move in. However rigorous this cleaning procedure (and studies indicate that up to 60% of hospital rooms are not cleaned properly), there will be residual contamination by infectious pathogens. In a dynamic process of contamination and recontamination, after cleaning and through cross-transmission, germs stick around and continue to make patients sicker.
Surface disinfection has become the new normal. Today's post takes the concept of a high school geometry proof to connect contaminated environments to infected patients. Although this research is in healthcare settings the concept applies to all surfaces in all environments. Rest assured, you’re not crazy for questioning the last time the shopping cart handle, mass transit grab rail, or door push plate you just touched was wiped down.
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?
Data is king. At no other time in history have we had the amount of data available to us to make informed decisions – both as consumers and as professionals. With advanced computer software, crunching those numbers has never been easier. One of the fields benefiting from these advances is healthcare, with everyone from doctors, hospital administrators, insurance companies, pharmaceutical developers, and patients using data to predict outcomes, make choices, and evaluate success. What we do with all this data is at least as important as what that data is, but for today, we focus first on where the top 4 hospital rating groups get their data.
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?
Consumers have a difficult time navigating the data that is available to help them make decisions about safe hospital choices. Today we are going to explore 3 popular hospital ranking sites and see how they compare in the same scenario. We are going to put ourselves in the place of a prospective patient undergoing surgery trying to find a hospital in Richmond, Virginia with the lowest infection rates. Let’s see which hospital stands out, and whether all 3 sites agree!
Most babies are born healthy. Delivered in a hospital, a birthing center, a home, or even a stable, they are bundled up, fed, loved, and go on to grow up with few or no complications.
In those cases where a newborn arrives with a medical condition that requires treatment, however, these tiny patients face greater risks than any adult or even an older child. One of the greatest risks faced by newborn patients is getting an infection. In fact, hospital-acquired infections are one of the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality in neonatal intensive care units.