Evidence Hierarchy: From The Laboratory to Reduced HAIs

by Erica Mitchell | December 15 2021

What happens after laboratory tests confirm that an environmental product kills bacteria? Is that the end of the line for testing a product's efficacy? One pair of researchers say no. Here is their proposal for an evidence hierarchy that describes how, in theory, data can begin to connect a product to a reduction in HAIs. While many regulatory agencies exist to protect the consumer by ensuring that HAI reduction claims are true, it is important for us to still be aware of the burden of proof in research, and how that plays out in a laboratory and real-life setting.

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Medicare Reimbursement and Hospital-Acquired Infections: The Costly Connection

by Erica Mitchell | September 8 2021

Although COVID-19 is taking the most attention, Medicare continues to penalize hospitals with the highest patient safety incidents. In today's post we explore the whole issue of Medicare reimbursements, penalties, and safety programs.

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The Culture Club: Diagnosing HAIs

by Erica Mitchell | August 25 2021

How do healthcare providers arrive at an HAI diagnosis? A CDC-mandated timing protocol determines whether a patient's infection is healthcare-associated or not. However, it is through a combination of clinical findings, diagnostic testing, and response to treatment that a medical team will determine the presence of an infection in the first place. Today's post will provide a very general overview of the steps a medical team may take in order to diagnose an HAI.

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Hospital Acquired Conditions vs. Hospital Acquired Infections: The Differences

by Erica Mitchell | July 28 2021

In the world of healthcare, there are so many acronyms (and some might say, euphemisms) for the deadly toll of medical errors and infections. Two such terms are HACs and HAIs. Today we'll explore the difference between the two, both in terms of what conditions they cover and how they are regulated and reported.

Last week we discussed Preventable Adverse Events, those medical errors deemed avoidable (and not necessarily the result of negligence). This is a way of referring to medical errors in a broad way that can include errors in medications, procedures, caretaking, and safety. 

There are also Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HACs) and Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs). HAIs are one example of a HAC, but not the only one. Let's explore how these terms fit into the big picture. 

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What is a Preventable Adverse Event?

by Erica Mitchell | July 21 2021

Medical students have made the same promise since the dawn of health care: First, do no harm. Despite living by this maxim, medical staff are human. While they are held to extremely high standards - both by their employers and by themselves - these professionals do make mistakes.

The quick definition of a preventable adverse event is harm to a patient caused by their medical care rather than their underlying medical issue (disease, illness, injury). These medical errors are often referred to as "preventable adverse events," a broad term that can be explored by looking at those three key words.

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5 Things You Can Do To Avoid A Hospital-Acquired Infection

by Erica Mitchell | July 14 2021

The idea of going to the hospital can be scary enough without even thinking of the possibility of getting a hospital-acquired infection (HAI). However, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of getting an infection while recovering in a hospital or other healthcare facility, especially when you are being admitted for a planned procedure with advance notice. These are 5 quick steps you can take to help you and your health care team.

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3 Reasons Why Patients Get Infections

by Erica Mitchell | July 7 2021

We live in an environment teeming with microscopic organisms. They cover not only the surfaces we touch, but also our skin and even our insides. We are not aware of this bioburden most of the time, and even if we do get the flu or if a cut gets infected, we treat it ourselves and move on without a second thought.

Some of us are not so lucky.

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The Most Common Sites and Types of Hospital Acquired Infections

by Erica Mitchell | June 30 2021

We are all covered in bacteria. (You could even say we are all contaminated.) Bacteria and other microorganisms live in our gut, in our mucous membranes such as our nostrils, on our eyelashes, and in our bellybuttons. We do not consider ourselves infected, however, because these organisms have not crossed the barrier of our skin to enter our tissues, muscles, bones, and body cavities. These deep parts of our bodies are basically sterile - no microorganisms live there at all. As long as our protective barriers are not breached, we remain healthy. The "contamination" is just part of our microbiome, our own personal little collection of life that we carry around with us all the time. This microbiome is made up of colonies of bacteria, groups of same-species bacteria that live and die without our even being aware of them.

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Hospital Acquired Infections: Kickin' You When You're Already Down

by Erica Mitchell | June 23 2021


 

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The Rules of Engagement in the War Against Germs: Standard Contact Precautions

by Erica Mitchell | June 2 2021

Last year, as healthcare workers faced shortages, the world was reminded of some of the “standard precautions” all hospitals operate under to control infection.  This basic level of infection control is to be used at all times for all patients to reduce the risk of transmission of germs including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms. Not only do these precautions protect the healthcare worker from infection, they protect other patients by reducing the risk of transmission. Today we’ll explore these precautions. In the coming weeks, we will cover how lapses in compliance put patients and healthcare workers at risk, and what you can do as a patient or patient advocate to ensure that the rules are followed.

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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.