Enhanced Barrier Precautions in Long-Term Care: A CMS Update

by Erica Mitchell | June 17 2024

What do you do if you discover that 50% of your healthcare residents are colonized with a multi-drug resistant organism (MDRO)? You'd probably adjust your personal protective equipment protocols at your facility, right? Now consider this at a national scale: A 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report revealed that "more than 50% of nursing home residents may be colonized with an MDRO," prompting the CDC to update its recommendations in July 2022, focusing on Enhanced Barrier Precautions (EBP) for residents with wounds and indwelling medical devices, who are at higher risk for MDRO colonization and transmission. In today's post, we'll look at what this means for long-term care facilities.


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What Do HAI Professionals Think about HAI Metrics? A Study Reveals The Answer

by Erica Mitchell | May 1 2023

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!

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A Wave of Candida auris infections: Crashing in Hospitals Nationwide

by Erica Mitchell | April 3 2023

We've covered Candida auris in this blog before. Not only has it been one of the pathogens of concern cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this fungus also infected record numbers of inpatients during the COVID-19 pandemic. This disease-causing pathogen has hit headlines once again, this time brining attention to troubling increases in rates and resistance. What can hospitals - and patients - do to avoid this dangerous hospital-associated infection?

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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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Pathogens Can Become Resistant to Disinfectants?

by Erica Mitchell | July 25 2022

Bacteria have been around for, oh, 3.5 billion years or so. They didn't achieve this longevity without collecting a few tricks up their sleeves. Among them is the ability to adapt to their environments from one generation to the next, activating certain genes during times of distress, changes in humidity, and access to nutrients. The resulting tricks are known collectively as "resistance." Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics such as penicillin, creating dangerous drug-resistant strains. They can also become resistant to disinfectants, including those used in today's hospitals. In today's post, we'll learn why that matters.

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