The Top 3 Patient Safety Issues: How Infection Control Affects Them All

by Erica Mitchell | December 29 2022

Many healthcare concerns will follow us into the new year, some we have carried for decades and some that have become more threatening thanks to the COVID pandemic. Among all the many lists of top concerns, three remain consistent: Staffing shortages, capacity, and healthcare-associated infections. In today's post, we will reveal how reducing healthcare associated infections (HAIs) directly improves patient outcomes, but can can positively impact staffing and capacity as well.

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Case-Mix Index Demystified: Part 3

by Erica Mitchell | December 28 2022

In our previous posts about the Case-Mix Index (CMI), we explored what it conveys and how it is calculated. Today we will discuss who looks at that the CMI and how they use it, including both clinical and financial entities.

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Case-Mix Index Demystified: Part 2

by Erica Mitchell | December 21 2022

Last week, we looked at Diagnosis-Related Groups and how they receive codes based on cost and complexity. These numbers play a key role in the Case-Mix Index, and today we will look at how those MS-DRGs form the basis of the CMI.

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Hygienic Home for the Holidays

by Erica Mitchell | December 19 2022

Did everyone notice the uptick in respiratory illnesses (including COVID) that started about a week and a half after Thanksgiving? Many of us might have heard about the flu or a cold or even COVID making its way through a classroom, an office, or an apartment complex. This uptick is predictable, as holidays bring people, and their infections, together. How can we minimize the spread of infection in our homes this upcoming holiday season and go into the new year without sniffles, sneezes, and sore throats? In today's post, we will help you host your friends and family in a hygienic home for the holidays.

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Case-Mix Index Demystified: Part I

by Erica Mitchell | December 14 2022

The Case-Mix Index (CMI) has been defined in many ways. One definition might read "a relative value assigned to a diagnostic-related group." Another may be "a rough estimate of how sick a hospital's patients are." Yet another could be "an indicator of how much reimbursement is expected by the hospital." All these definitions point to one fact: The CMI is a measure used by a variety of healthcare personnel in a variety of ways. This week we will begin our exploration of this multi-faceted number.

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Career Focus: Ambulatory Infection Preventionist

by Erica Mitchell | December 12 2022

Ambulatory health care facilities, such as outpatient surgery and diagnostic centers, face new regulations requiring the active presence of an infection preventionist. These ambulatory infection preventionists often are responsible for more than one location, large number of staff, as well as reporting duties to both their corporate headquarters as well as state and federal agencies. With this unique and challenging career come added benefits of regular hours, diverse cases, and a favorable job market. In today's post, we will look closely at the roles and responsibilities of this fast-growing infection prevention profession.

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Presenteeism (Working While Sick) and Infection Control

by Erica Mitchell | December 7 2022

No profession knows more about disease transmission than those working in infection control and prevention. And yet, due to a complex network of issues, professionals in IC have rates of presenteeism - working while sick - that track right alongside every other profession. On average, 80% of professionals in IC report having gone to work while sick. What pressures lead a healthcare professional familiar with the risks involved in disease transmission to go to work while sick?

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Surfaces and Surgical Site Infections: The Next Step

by Erica Mitchell | December 5 2022

Among all tracked hospital-associated infections, the one that seems to have the lowest rates are surgical site infections. While this relative strength varies by region, the overall low rate of surgical site infections is due in part to so many of the opportunities for infection being eliminated by interventions. However, surgical site infections still occur and data seems to point at the contamination of the patient environment, including surfaces, playing a significant role. In today's post, we will look at all the opportunities for infection after a surgical procedure, and highlight which vulnerabilities still remain.

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DNA Detectives: Using Genomic Sequencing in Infection Control

by Erica Mitchell | November 30 2022

Crime scene investigators use many tools to figure out the events leading up to a crime, how the crime was committed, and how to apprehend the criminal. They draw on their knowledge of physics, psychology, statistics, and many other fields in order to glean as much information as possible from the evidence. In many ways, hospital epidemiologists operate in the same way - with very similar tools. In these cases, the victims of the crime are vulnerable patients. The criminals? Infectious pathogens leading to infection. Today we will explore one tool they share in common: DNA sequencing.

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Thankful for Antibiotics

by Erica Mitchell | November 23 2022

On a fall day in 1928, a window was left open in a London laboratory, letting in a cool breeze. Carried on that breeze were microscopic spores of mold, tiny particles that fell gently onto a work surface covered with open Petri dishes culturing Staphylococcus bacteria. One spore landed on the rich culture medium of a dish and began to grow, contaminating the experiment in progress. This contamination, to the surprise of the scientist when he returned to check on his experiment, was peculiar. The mold had not simply grown, it had also destroyed all the bacteria around it, leaving a clear boundary all around its perimeter. The scientist was Alexander Flemming, and his determination to find out what was going on in this peculiar, unexpected, serendipitous mistake would lead to the world-changing discovery of antibiotics. 

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© EOS Surfaces and EOScu Blog, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to EOS Surfaces and EOScu Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.