Copper: An Ancient Remedy That Actually Works

by Erica Mitchell | June 12 2024

This post is intended to provide historical background for some of today's medical treatments. It is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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Artificial Intelligence and Infection Control: Current Research

by Erica Mitchell | June 8 2024

Artificial intelligence seems to be everywhere these days: Generating images that fill our social feeds and ads, answering our questions via chatbots, and creating content for almost every field. In today's post, we will look at some recent research that demonstrates how AI might help lessen the load on infection preventionists (IPs) by helping sift through data and make surveillance and reporting more efficient.

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Who Regulates Hospitals?

by Erica Mitchell | June 8 2024

A hospital is one of the most, if not the most, regulated environments in our nation. Due to the complexity of services, equipment, usage, and upkeep, hospitals and healthcare facilities must meet the standards set by a number of federal, state, and local laws, agencies, and regulators. In today's post, we'll look at some of the more visible groups keeping hospitals safe, as well as some that may surprise you.

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How Hospitals Stay Clean: Environmental Services

by Erica Mitchell | June 3 2024

Today's post looks at the team in the trenches, the boots on the ground, the hands-on technicians: Environmental Services.

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Health Literacy and Infection Prevention

by Erica Mitchell | May 31 2024

Health literacy is the ability to obtain, read, understand, and use healthcare information to make appropriate health decisions and follow instructions for treatment. It involves a range of skills, including reading comprehension, numeracy, and the ability to navigate the healthcare system. Health literacy is crucial because it affects an individual's capacity to make informed health decisions, manage chronic conditions, and reduce health risks. In today's post, we'll look at essential health literacy skills and how they can lead to better infection prevention and control.

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Memorial Day: Remembering Our Troops' Most Lethal Enemy

by Erica Mitchell | May 28 2024

On Memorial Day, we remember those men and women who died serving our country as a member of the armed forces. Traditionally, the day is set aside to remember those who died in combat. We add to that tradition today, remembering those who died fighting for our country, even as they lost the battle to war’s deadliest opponent: Disease.

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The Downsides of Contact Precautions

by Erica Mitchell | May 22 2024

Ever since we first realized that disease could spread through physical contact, medical workers have used barriers to reduce the transmission of germs. Today, the use of gloves, gowns, caps, and other personal protective equipment is the standard for invasive procedures, but it is also used for everyday contact with patients who require isolation. Patients may be put under contact precautions for two reasons: Either to prevent pathogens from entering the room or to prevent pathogens from leaving the room. If a patient is especially vulnerable to pathogens, he or she would need to be protected from pathogens entering the room. The second reason contact precautions are used is when a patient is colonized or infected with a multi-drug resistant organism such as MRSA, VRE, or CRE. In these cases, contact precautions are implemented to prevent pathogens from leaving the room in an effort to protect all the other patients in the hospital. This use of contact precautions is more controversial because the evidence for how effective contact precautions are to reducing transmission is mixed, thereby providing enough doubt as to open the discussion up to consider the downsides of contact precautions.

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What is a Critical Access Hospital?

by Erica Mitchell | May 20 2024

Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) play an important role in today's healthcare system. Most (45) states have at least one of the over 1,300 CAHs, but states with a high proportion of rural regions depend far more on these small facilities. In today's post, we'll look at what led to the creation of this hospital designation, the vital service they provide their communities, and how they intersect with infection control and prevention issues.

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The Most Contaminated and Most Touched Surfaces in a Patient Room

by Erica Mitchell | May 16 2024

I just touched that door! What could be on it? Oh no - I also pushed that elevator button and that person just coughed! Are these some of your common thoughts in high-traffic areas such as airports, stadiums, or healthcare facilities, especially in our more anxious post-COVID lives? Do you wonder how clean your airplane tray, movie seat arm rests, or hotel room phone are? You are not alone. Our area of concern is health care facilities, so let's look at those in more detail in today's post.

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Data Validation & Infection Control and Prevention

by Erica Mitchell | May 13 2024

Surveillance and reporting are essential components of any facility’s infection control program. However, as Boromir might say, one does not simply collect and report data to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Before data can be reported, it must be validated first internally by the reporting facility and then externally by an external agency. But what is data validation? In today’s post, we will unfurl the map and trace data’s path from Hobbiton your facility to Mordor the NHSN.

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