How NOT to Clean a Hospital Room

by Erica Mitchell | October 28 2022

A surprising product recall this week might remind healthcare workers of a known risk in hospital infection control and prevention: The contamination of cleaning supplies with dangerous bacteria (Clorox Pinesol Recall 2022). While most laypeople may not know this is even a possibility, infection preventionists know that cleaning solutions and equipment must be properly maintained or else insidious bacteria will find a way to colonize it. This recall brings to mind the other cleaning errors that hospitals work to prevent. In today's post, we will explore the most common mistakes made in cleaning and disinfecting a hospital room.

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Career Focus: What is a hospital epidemiologist?

by Erica Mitchell | October 26 2022

Epidemiology is a branch of medicine that studies the way disease moves through human populations, from outbreak to control. The word epidemic itself means “among the people,” used to describe a disease that affects an entire community. Today we will explore the role of the specialist dealing with disease in a very specific community, the hospital.

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What Are ESKAPE Pathogens?

by Erica Mitchell | October 17 2022

In 2008, the medical field presented data to the federal government in support of funding to study antimicrobial resistance in hospital-associated pathogens. A leading figure in the effort, Dr. Louis B. Rice, had spent his career studying the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and knew first-hand the threat presented by resistant pathogens as hospital-acquired infections. In his statement of support to continued funding of research, Dr. Rice coined a term that has become a useful acronym for anyone working in the field of infection prevention and control: ESKAPE pathogens. In today's post, we will discover these pathogens and the status of our fight against them since Dr. Rice first devised the term.

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We Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Pandemic: Hospital Associated Infections

by Erica Mitchell | September 23 2022

In a widely-circulated interview, President Biden stated that the pandemic was, in effect, over. While not an official statement and also clarified over the next few days, the idea that the worst of the pandemic is over has been echoed by global medical experts. So what now? A return to "normal" in the medical field does not mean no more infections; in fact, it means returning to a world where almost 100,000 people die each year from infections they acquired while receiving medical care - most of which are preventable. There are many similarities between a pandemic and the on-going crisis of hospital-acquired infections, and in today's post, we will explore them. 

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What the Nation's Nursing Shortage Means for Infection Control

by Erica Mitchell | September 16 2022

We recently heard a chilling story: An ER doctor shared that he was treating many of his patients in the waiting room - diagnosing, providing medication, and discharging - not because there was no room in the hospital, but rather because there were not enough nurses. Indeed, there is a significant nursing shortage in the United States. Almost all of us are aware of this professional scarcity thanks to regular news coverage and even personal experience. What many laypeople may not be aware of, however, is that we have been in the midst of a significant nursing shortage not just since COVID-19, but since 2012. In today's post, we will uncover what kind of impact this shortage will have on one of the most critical aspects of hospital care: Infection control and prevention.

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Length of Stay and Infection: How To Get Patients Out of the Danger Zone

by Erica Mitchell | September 12 2022

No one wants to stay in a hospital any longer than they have to. We all have an innate desire to get back to the comfort of our homes and begin the process of returning to normal activities. Some of us may not realize that there is also a very real, scientific reason for leaving the hospital as soon as possible: The longer a patient is in the hospital, the greater their chances of getting a hospital-associated infection (HAI), and once a patient has an HAI, they tend to stay longer in the hospital. It seems like a lose-lose scenario for everyone involved. It's just in everybody's best interest to reduce HAIs to not increase LOS, and shorten LOS to reduce HAIs. In today's post, we'll see how healthcare facilities are working to accomplish this dual goal.

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Time Crunch: Is There Time to Keep Patients Safe from Infection?

by Erica Mitchell | August 29 2022

Nursing responsibilities have changed dramatically over the past decades. While some non-medical tasks have been shifted to other workers, additional administrative responsibilities have been added. As a result, nursing is among the top most stressful jobs in our country, made all the more challenging during the pandemic. What happens when nurses feel pressured by time constraints? What can be done to alleviate this pressure? We will look at options in today's post.

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Types of Hospitals in the US

by Erica Mitchell | August 3 2022

There are 6,093 hospitals in the United States. Those facilities can be divided in a variety of categories depending on size, location, demographics, finances, and affiliation. Today's post will explore the various categories into which any given hospital can be assigned. Knowing these categories can help consumers better understand the context of the hospitals from which they have to choose.

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The Top 4 Things Patients Want

by Erica Mitchell | August 1 2022

Think back to the last time you or a loved one was a patient in a hospital or healthcare facility. What things do you remember most? Is it the stress about health and recovery? Maybe you remember the frustration of trying to get answers or understanding what was going on? Or perhaps you remember a constant worry about whether the hospital was clean enough to prevent an infection? If any or all of these are familiar, you are not alone. A recent study investigated what patients consider the most important aspects of a quality hospital, and as this post will reveal, how infection prevention is their top concern.

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The Role of the Industrial Hygienist in Healthcare

by Erica Mitchell | July 27 2022

Who obsesses over the safety of a community's environment? Who knows all the building codes, chemical exposure limits, and fire retardant additives by heart? Who walks through a built space and can identify potential risks from air quality, radiation, ergonomics, violence, and stress without batting an eye? Why, it's the industrial hygienist, of course! Today we will explore this profession and its role in keeping us healthy and safe.

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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.