Health Literacy and Infection Prevention

by Erica Mitchell | May 31 2024

Health literacy is the ability to obtain, read, understand, and use healthcare information to make appropriate health decisions and follow instructions for treatment. It involves a range of skills, including reading comprehension, numeracy, and the ability to navigate the healthcare system. Health literacy is crucial because it affects an individual's capacity to make informed health decisions, manage chronic conditions, and reduce health risks. In today's post, we'll look at essential health literacy skills and how they can lead to better infection prevention and control.

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What is a Critical Access Hospital?

by Erica Mitchell | May 20 2024

Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) play an important role in today's healthcare system. Most (45) states have at least one of the over 1,300 CAHs, but states with a high proportion of rural regions depend far more on these small facilities. In today's post, we'll look at what led to the creation of this hospital designation, the vital service they provide their communities, and how they intersect with infection control and prevention issues.

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Data Validation & Infection Control and Prevention

by Erica Mitchell | May 13 2024

Surveillance and reporting are essential components of any facility’s infection control program. However, as Boromir might say, one does not simply collect and report data to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Before data can be reported, it must be validated first internally by the reporting facility and then externally by an external agency. But what is data validation? In today’s post, we will unfurl the map and trace data’s path from Hobbiton your facility to Mordor the NHSN.

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What is a Remote Infection Preventionist?

by Erica Mitchell | May 6 2024

A remote infection preventionist is a professional who specializes in preventing the spread of infections within healthcare settings, but performs their duties remotely. A remote infection preventionist can work as a part of a larger team sub-contracted by the healthcare facility, or be directly employed by the facility. However, as the field of infection control and prevention (IP) faces challenges in staffing, funding, and substantial job responsibilities, outsourcing some aspects of IP may be a trend that is here for the foreseeable future. In today's post, we will examine which aspects of IP can be performed remotely, how far this trend has spread, and what the future may hold for the remote infection preventionist.

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What High-Touch Surfaces Are You Forgetting? It's Worth A Look

by Erica Mitchell | April 29 2024

We all know the surfaces in our facilities that are the most touched, right? Overbed tables, bed rails, door handles, keyboards. But your facility may have a unique program or provide a unique service that introduces a novel high-touch surface that might not make the typical "top ten" list. In a recent study, a team sampled high-touch surfaces only to reveal that their CPR manikins ranked as one of the top two most-touched, and therefore most-contaminated surfaces in their hospital! Due to an extra emphasis on CPR training at their facility, their CPR manikins were in constant rotation for training and assessment, making them idea reservoirs for bacterial contamination. In today's post, we will present what surfaces might go overlooked at your facility, and how you can take steps to identify other forgotten surfaces that could lead to germ transmission.

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Exploring the Vendor Exhibit Area: Enhancing Your Conference Experience

by Erica Mitchell | April 22 2024

While attending academic conferences, don't overlook the vendor exhibit area – it's more than just a place to pick up free pens and notebooks. The vendor exhibit area is an opportunity to explore the latest products, services, and resources relevant to your field of study. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your time in the vendor exhibit area:

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It's Conference Season! How to Make the Most of Your Experience

by Erica Mitchell | April 15 2024

Spring and summer mean conference season for Infection Preventionists and other medical practitioners! Academic and exposition/trade conferences are invaluable opportunities for clinicians, researchers, and professionals to exchange ideas, network, and stay abreast of the latest developments in infection prevention and control. However, attending a conference can be overwhelming without proper preparation and strategy. In this post, we'll explore some tips on how to make the most of your conference experience.

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Patients, Staff, Administrators: What Each of Us Can Do to Reduce Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs)

by Erica Mitchell | April 1 2024

We hear so often how "we all have a role to play in reducing healthcare associated infections." From washing our hands to advocating for policy changes, it can often feel overwhelming. One way to make our impact more practical is to identify the things that we are uniquely able to do in our current position. In a series of posts starting today, we will explore the actions we can take to reduce infections most effectively based on our professional role in healthcare. We hope these ideas serve as a springboard for your own choices in the future.

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Risk Mitigation and Infection Control: Key Terms

by Erica Mitchell | March 25 2024

In the world of risk mitigation, there are a number of established concepts that encompass the many ways to avoid harm. These concepts also apply to infection prevention and control, and help us identify areas of greater vulnerability, areas where we can be proactive, and finally, areas where we can lessen harm should the worst occur. In today's post, we will look at these key concepts and begin to the lay the foundation of the idea of risk mitigation in infection prevention and control.

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How are Graph Neural Networks Being Used in the Fight Against Healthcare Acquired Infections?

by Erica Mitchell | March 18 2024

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) are computer algorithms that take data from graphs and uses relationships between the data points to make predictions or recommendations. Much like our own brains, neural networks connect and correlate information to generate possible patterns that can be helpful to a variety of fields, including infection control and prevention (IP). In IP, GNNs are being used to predict risk for healthcare acquired infections (HAIs) and make decisions about resource allocation. In today's post, we'll take a closer look at how this is being done.

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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.