The Golden Age of Microbiology: Part 1

by Erica Mitchell | April 27 2022

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.

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Home Health Care and Infection Prevention: Preparing for the Future

by Erica Mitchell | April 25 2022

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.

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The Pathogens That Made History: Consumption, Part 2

by Erica Mitchell | April 20 2022

In last week's post, we described a pervasive disease that so affected the global population that it found its way into visual, musical, and literary works of art for centuries. What was this horrible disease?


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Fast-Tracking Medical Innovations: 5 Things To Expect

by Erica Mitchell | April 18 2022

In healthcare, we want fast innovation and instant implementation - but we also want our safety to be assured, and for our care to make sense financially. Sometimes it takes a national crisis to see just what is possible when it comes to moving quickly and safely toward medical solutions. The COVID pandemic, for example, helped us see the advantages of fast-tracking scientific innovation (a vaccine), but also showed us disadvantages (vaccine mistrust). In today's post, we'll explore 5 things to expect when trying to accelerate medical innovation, and in a future post, we will see how this national model of implementation and integration can be applied at the individual medical facility level, specifically, to infection control and prevention.

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The Pathogens That Made History: Consumption, Part 1

by Erica Mitchell | April 13 2022

Before we knew about germ theory and the microorganisms that caused disease, the illnesses that afflicted millions were mysteries. They acquired names that described their symptoms, their effect on behavior, or on the sheer numbers of people they killed. Without knowing anything about causes, treatment, or prevention, our ancestors feared “the wasting disease,” saw friends and relatives fall victim to “bilious fever,” and cared for loved ones stricken with “child bed fever,” “yellow jacket,” or “dysentery.”

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8 Ways to Gain Momentum: From COVID to HAIs

by Erica Mitchell | April 9 2022

We all experienced a huge learning curve thanks to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The general public learned about infection control, sanitation, and PPE. Medical professionals learned about transmission rates, symptoms, treatment plans and pharmaceutical interventions. We need to ride this wave of intense learning into the "next normal," living and working in a world which still has hospital-associated infections that will continue to claim the lives of patients if we don't stop them. Here are 8 ways we can make sure we don't lose momentum as we move into the future.

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National Pet Day: Pets and Pathogens

by Erica Mitchell | April 6 2022

April 11th is National Pet Day! Let's take a moment to focus on the intersection between infection and household pets. There are many sides to this issue: The health of the pet owners, the health of the pets, and the overall household environment. Today we will explore some important information and tips to help everyone stay safe and healthy.

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Density, Diversity, and Design... and Disease?

by Erica Mitchell | April 1 2022

What do you need to have a successful transit system? Dense city centers, mixed land use with retail and residential, and attractive and easy to navigate layouts. These principles were proposed in 1997 by researchers Cervero and Kockelman as Density, Diversity, and Design. What do you do, however, when 2:3 of the most important elements of a successful transit system not only help people get around but also viruses and other transmissible diseases? In today's post, we will explore how adding an element of infection prevention into the design principle can help transit systems, and their riders, remain healthy.

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