We are right in the middle of the flu season, when more and more tests come back positive for the influenza virus. Next to the common cold, there's probably no more familiar illness than the seasonal flu: If you don't get it, someone you know does. Despite this familiarity, there are some fascinating facts about the flu that most of us do not know. Learning about influenza reveals a global network of researchers whose daily work keeps this virus at bay.
In the traditional Christmas story from the New Testament, three Magi arrived from the East with three gifts for the newborn Jesus: Frankincense, myrrh, and gold. These were precious, rare substances in the ancient world. While revered for their ceremonial uses, the resins frankincense and myrrh were also one of the first biocidal substances used in ancient times. In today's post, we'll look at how nature has provided us with many anti-pathogenic gifts that science is only now beginning to understand.
Over the past years, and with an uptick since COVID, the acronym "ESG" has been popping up in discussions related to investing, corporate values, and public accountability. Is a focus on "Environment, Social, and Governance" a new idea? How has the increased scrutiny affected the healthcare industry? And most specifically, how does it apply to the field of infection control and prevention?
Ever since the COVID pandemic, hospitals have become more adept at thinking outside the box, or rather, outside the patient room. For some hospitals, the pandemic meant converting waiting rooms into treatment rooms, while for others, it meant finding ways to access shared spaces without sharing germs. This experience, plus the added financial pressures faced by healthcare, is accelerating a trend for more cross-functional, multipurpose rooms in healthcare facilities. How will this trend intersect with infection control protocols? Let's try to foresee some potential benefits and risks.
In the sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, an omnipresent computer named HAL monitors all activity aboard a spacecraft on a critical mission. The single-mindedness of this artificial intelligence makes HAL helpful and life-saving, but misses the mark on some decisions that require a more human touch. While our year 2023 has not yet brought us interstellar craft equipped with AI, we are living in a time when technology is supporting almost every field, including healthcare. This post will explore how technology is helping us with hand-hygiene compliance, and how, like HAL, there are some clear advantages as well as some disadvantages. (Thankfully, no hand hygiene technology is able to eject non-compliers out the airlock. Yet.)
After you make the case for the healthcare innovation in terms of patient and facility benefits, anticipating possible risks, and demonstrating efficacy, the final step is to put all that data into financial terms. To calculate return on investment, you will need to determine, to the best degree possible, the costs of implementation, the potential costs of not implementing, and make connections to the facility and/or system plan for the future. In today's post, we will guide you to resources to help you accomplish these tasks.