To recognize MRSA Awareness Month through October, here are 5 critical facts about MRSA that everyone needs to know.
Every year a new class of students start their medical training with a white coat ceremony. The white coat is so synonymous with "Doctor," it seems they have been the medical uniform for centuries. In fact, the coat that carries with it so much prestige (and, it turns out, bacteria) has only been around for about 100 years. Is it time to let the white coat go?
Germ theory, the idea that infection is caused by microscopic organisms unseen to the naked eye, is only a few hundred years old. This theory focuses on three main components.
- The reservoir: The person, animal, or surface that carries the infection.
- The mode of transmission: Via direct contact, a droplet of liquid, airborne, a vector (such as an insect), or a vehicle (food or surface)
- The susceptible host: A person and his/her ports of entry (nose, mouth, incision, medical device, wound)
But the paths from the reservoir to the susceptible host seem infinite. To narrow down the steps needed to prove this relationship between contaminated rooms and infected patients, researchers have proposed routes of transmission that could account for a relationship. Here are two proposals, both of which demonstrate the critical role played by surfaces in the transmission of pathogens.
Eradicating pathogens from environmental surfaces in hospitals is a daily fight. Keeping bacteria from reproducing on surfaces, finding reservoirs in hard-to-clean areas, and forming biofilms requires daily disinfection, and ideally, some form of continuous mitigation. In today's post, we will look at the threats posed by bacteria that are even more adept at surviving on surfaces: Spore-forming bacteria, and how hospitals are trying to keep these persistent pathogens from threatening their patients.
In our previous posts about DALYs and QALYs, we have defined the terms and presented how the healthcare field calculates these two measures of disease burden. In today's post, we will narrow our view to just hospital-associated infections and their disease burden. After reading this post, you should have a more detailed picture of the impact HAIs have on American lives.
Large-scale healthcare projects, from new projects to renovations, face a challenging future. After the tedious process of securing permits and getting approved plans and even issuing press releases, many of these ambitious projects stall due to financial pressures. Increasingly, healthcare systems may hit the pause button as they take a closer look at cost-benefits, with emphases on expanding market share and reducing cost of care. In today's post, we will look at how a healthcare project can help achieve both goals by focusing on proven infection prevention infrastructure.
In today's healthcare marketplace, it is growing commonplace to consider patients as customers - and the shoe fits, so to speak. Patients do have choices when it comes to medical care, and now have plenty of ratings and data points to consider when selecting a physician, an outpatient center, a hospital or a long-term care facility. One of those data points is patient experience, which encompasses the many interactions with medical staff, facilities, and representatives. In today's post, we will consider the measurable aspects of the patient experience, including infection control and prevention.
One of the most tracked and reported metrics in today's healthcare facilities is infection rates. Anyone working in a hospital is aware of the importance of keeping these rates as low as possible, as they impact not only patient outcomes, but reimbursement rates and facility reputation as well. It may be an assumption by the general public that these rates are an objective metric with little grey area. However, a recent study investigated what infection prevention experts think about these metrics, and the results may surprise you!
Last week we provided a big-picture overview of the healthcare supply chain, from supplier to patient. This week, we will dig deeper into this process and try to identify places along the supply chain where decisions can impact infection control and prevention. While all hospitals must meet EPA- and FDA-mandated standards for cleanliness and device protocols, there is room for individual choices in how each facility will prepare and respond to pathogens. So where along supply chain are decisions made that influence infection control?
If you spend any time at all in the world of infection control and prevention, you've run across the NHSN, or National Healthcare Safety Network. Those of us who are not directly involved with infection control, however, may lack a full understanding of what the NHSN truly is. Today's post is for those of us who work on the periphery of infection control efforts: An introduction to the NHSN.