After thousands of years of medical care provided in homes and religious buildings, health care moved into the public sphere. Buildings were constructed solely for medical purposes, with patient quarters, staff facilities, and specialized equipment. However, no other era saw as much transformation in healthcare as the years between Florence Nightengale in the 1840s and the golden age of antibiotics in the 1940s. Today's post will examine the transformation of hospital spaces during this time period.
Each year, thousands of buildings, including many healthcare facilities, are entered into architecture award programs, hoping to be recognized as the best the field has to offer. These entries are judged according to the accepted standards of modern architecture, which go beyond simple form and function. Healthcare facilities must not only meet these architectural standards, but dozens of regulatory standards along with many unique constraints in order to meet the needs of their target populations. In today's post, we'll look at how healthcare architects who include infection prevention in their planning help their projects align with the highest standards of their industry.
With life, there is illness. Some of the earliest examples of life on Earth, bacteria, show evidence of invasion by viruses. Our earliest recorded history includes written accounts of individuals trying to make sense of illness and injury. These early records, and the experiments and efforts that accompanied them, are the first examples of the scientific method which resulted in all our modern advances, including evidence-based design.
Projects to improve the patient's environment are critical to optimizing patient outcomes. Getting rid of moisture-trapping materials, opening rooms up to natural light, and installation of biocidal materials to kill bacteria are all important construction projects for today's medical facility. Construction, however, comes with its own risks which must be anticipated. The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) released an updated Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA 2.0) tool, the result of several years of expert collaboration. The tool is a 4-step process to guide healthcare facilities on how to mitigate infection risk during maintenance or construction projects. In today's post, we will highlight 7 improvements to the new tool, and implications for the infection preventionists tasked with supervising their implementation.
Exploration of the Golden Age of Microbiology would not be complete without a look at how its discoveries impacted hospitals and medical care. Today’s post takes us into the 1800s hospital, where the “good old surgical stink” was just as familiar as the blood-stained aprons worn (with some pride) by doctors. In fact, that “stink” was what led one pioneering microbiologist to make a very helpful connection.
Mental health facilities, including behavioral health and addiction treatment centers, present unique challenges to infection control. While most residents may not require the invasive surgery or indwelling devices most associated with hospital-acquired infections, these patients remain vulnerable to these preventable conditions. In today's post, we'll explore 6 challenges faced by infection control professionals in a mental health setting.
Last week's post introduced the work of Louis Pasteur, the father of microbiology. It was not long after Pasteur proposed that microorganisms were to blame for food spoilage that someone would make the leap that infection could, too, also be caused by microorganisms. That man (who would become a great scientific rival to Pasteur) came to be known as the founder of modern bacteriology.
You go to a professional conference and learn about an exciting new medical innovation. You think it might work at your facility, so you go ahead and authorize its purchase and are ready to go. Then you wake up from your daydream and remember all the steps required to get that exciting new innovation into your facility - if that is even possible. With a sigh, you move on to your next session, thinking, how can we fast-track those medical innovations that could really make a difference in patient outcomes? What would that take? In today's post, we'll look at some of the things your facility can expect if they want to fast-track a medical innovation, and some ideas to make that process successful.
Just over 150 years ago, the existence of bacteria was merely a hypothesis. Many scientists still believed that food spoilage and human infections were caused by spontaneous generation, inexplicable life from lifelessness. That all changed in the mid-1800s. It is appropriate that the light bulb was invented during this time as well, for this new era in biology shone a light on a whole new world of biology: microorganisms. And one man, the Father of Microbiology, would make breakthroughs in one decade that would revolutionize chemistry, biology, and medicine.
Home health care has been growing steadily for the past decade and shows no sign of slowing. A growing number of health care services are being provided in the home of the patient, including IV medications, enteral nutrition, injections, and wound care. There are many advantages to home health care: It is less expensive for the patient and third party payers (private insurance, Medicare), it is more comfortable and convenient for the patient, and it can have the same positive outcomes as a hospital or other medical facility. However, home health care does have disadvantages, including effective infection prevention. In today's post, we will look at four key issues in home health care infection control and prevention that will need to be resolved as we enter the future of home health care.