The Golden Age of Microbiology, Part 3

by Erica Mitchell | May 11 2022

Exploration of the Golden Age of Microbiology would not be complete without a look at how its discoveries impacted hospitals and medical care. Today’s post takes us into the 1800s hospital, where the “good old surgical stink” was just as familiar as the blood-stained aprons worn (with some pride) by doctors. In fact, that “stink” was what led one pioneering microbiologist to make a very helpful connection.

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Fast-Tracking Medical Innovations: 5 Things Your Facility Can Expect

by Erica Mitchell | May 2 2022

You go to a professional conference and learn about an exciting new medical innovation. You think it might work at your facility, so you go ahead and authorize its purchase and are ready to go. Then you wake up from your daydream and remember all the steps required to get that exciting new innovation into your facility - if that is even possible. With a sigh, you move on to your next session, thinking, how can we fast-track those medical innovations that could really make a difference in patient outcomes? What would that take? In today's post, we'll look at some of the things your facility can expect if they want to fast-track a medical innovation, and some ideas to make that process successful.

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Wastewater Sampling and Infection Control

by Erica Mitchell | March 27 2022

Wastewater and infection have a long and sordid history. Ever since humans began living in close, permanent quarters, we have had to deal with the issue of removing human waste and dirty water. We dumped waste into rivers, and when that wasn't sufficient, we invented plumbing and sewer systems. The discovery of the role pathogens play in the spread of disease led to even better sequestration of contaminated waste, which led to better community health overall. Today, we will look at the role this wastewater plays not in disease transmission, but rather, in disease surveillance and eradication.

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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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© 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.