What Can Nursing Homes Do to Improve Infection Prevention?

by Erica Mitchell | January 28 2022

Nursing homes provide an invaluable service to our nation. Caring for elderly and medically vulnerable patients, nursing homes face unprecedented challenges in keeping their residents safe and healthy. In the midst of financial pressures, how can nursing homes help prevent the spread of healthcare-acquired infections? In today's post, we'll look at those steps that are cost-neutral, and even cost-saving, approaches to long-term infection prevention and control.

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Preparing for Contamination: Lessons From Winter

by Erica Mitchell | January 26 2022

As winter settles in, communities across the country begin their preparations for snowfall and ice. Rather than deal with the drifts and icy patches after they are already in place, many of us prepare for this inevitability by putting down salt and sand, setting up car tents, and even installing heated driveway and walkway systems. The blizzards inevitably come - they are an inescapable part of nature, after all - but the impact they have on us is lessened. Strenuous snow shoveling is reduced, dangerous falls are avoided, and cars back out of driveways safely. Preparation is essential for a safer winter. What can we learn from this seasonal preparation when it comes to another environmental threat: Hospital acquired infections?

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Biocidal Surfaces and the Fight Against Multi-Drug Resistant C. auris

by Erica Mitchell | January 21 2022

When a pathogen develops resistance to all drugs used against it, even a weak strain of it can cause dangerous outcomes in patients. When that same pathogen is also resistant to common cleaners and disinfectants, you are facing a foe that persists on surfaces, ready to attack the next vulnerable host. This is the scenario hospitals are facing with Candida auris, a fungus that has recently be identified in a Louisiana hospital, the first that state has seen. In today's post, we'll examine the role that biocidal surfaces can play in the control and eradication of a pathogen that can escape almost everything else.

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New Years' Resolutions and Hand Hygiene: How To Make Changes Last

by Erica Mitchell | January 19 2022

Today may not actually be "the saddest day in the year," but chances are, those of us who made New Years' resolutions may be starting to see some cracks in our willpower. Any change in behavior, from exercising more to, say, washing your hands more, represents a personal struggle of transformation that does not happen easily. In today's post, we'll look at some of the recent research on making those resolutions last and apply them to the leading behavioral obstacle that results in healthcare associated infections: Hand hygiene.

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10 Post-COVID Furniture Trends for Healthcare

by Erica Mitchell | January 14 2022

During a time when hospitals are under unimaginable stresses from a global pandemic, thinking about furniture choices might seem frivolous. However, despite the ongoing surge in COVID-19, hospitals must be built, renovated, and and expanded. And a huge part of those construction projects is selecting the furniture that will serve the patients, their families, and the staff. Today we look at what will influence those decisions in the coming year, including infection prevention.

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National Pharmacist Day: Impact on Infection Control

by Erica Mitchell | January 12 2022

Pharmacists are an essential part of a medical team. While many people believe the pharmacist only dispenses medication, their impact on healthcare is far more significant. Hospital pharmacists, for example, can be responsible for making purchasing decisions, monitoring drug therapy, preparing IV medication, and overseeing drug administration. It is this last responsibility that has the greatest impact on infection control: The hospital pharmacists can play a significant role in antibiotic stewardship, one of the key components of reducing dangerous infections.

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Why Are Pediatric Hospitalizations for COVID-19 Increasing?

by Erica Mitchell | January 7 2022

While the Omicron variant sweeps the nation, now making up 95% of new cases, troubling statistics are emerging about a rise in pediatric hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Before Christmas, there were approximately 2,000 children nationwide hospitalized for complications due to COVID-19. Just two weeks later, that number has jumped to 4,000. What is the cause for this surge in young patients with COVID-19? In today's post, we'll explore the leading theories and end with some predictions for the coming months.

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Why are R01 NIH Grants Such a Big Deal?

by Erica Mitchell | January 5 2022

The National Institutes of Health is the largest public funder of biomedical research around the globe. This support has led to life-saving treatments as well as an ever-growing body of research that paves the way for future breakthroughs. NIH funding comes in the form of grants, of which there are dozens of types. In today's post, we'll look at just one type of grant and why it is so important to research in infection control and prevention.

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