Outpatient Services and Infection Control: Moving Forward [Part 5]

by Erica Mitchell | September 21 2022

This series on outpatient services and infection control can seem rather dismal. Thankfully, most outpatient facilities are safe and only a small percentage of patients experience an HAI. Nonetheless, the breaches in infection control mean that given the right circumstances, severe outbreaks can (and do) take place. The reality can make us feel powerless and confused. Fortunately, there are things that we can do to help.

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Outpatient Services and Infection Prevention: Tracking Infections [Part 4]

by Erica Mitchell | September 14 2022

So far in our series on infection control in ambulatory care settings, we covered the types of facilities and how they are regulated. One huge topic to cover is the impact of the outpatient setting on the ability to track infections. Today’s post will begin to explore this topic, and our final post will present what we can do, both individually and collectively, to begin to improve infection prevention in these facilities.

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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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Outpatient Services and Infection Prevention: What We Don't Know is Hurting Us [Part 3]

by Erica Mitchell | September 7 2022

We don’t know enough about infection in ambulatory care centers. 

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Outpatient Services and Infection Prevention: What is Ambulatory Care? [Part 2]

by Erica Mitchell | August 31 2022

Any kind of medical treatment received outside of a hospital admission is considered ambulatory care, or outpatient care. This category of healthcare is growing very quickly; in fact, it is the fastest growing health care market in the US! Outpatient services are growing in popularity for two main reasons. First, they are less expensive than hospitals, which have much higher overhead costs. The second reason is that medical improvements have made outpatient services far more practical. The quality of home health care through technology and nursing services allow patients who would have had to be in a hospital receive the necessary care at home.

Up to 75% of surgical procedures in the US take place in the more than 5,000 outpatient surgical centers. (There was a 300% increase between 1996 and 2006, the last time a survey was made. More on that in our next post.) Add to this the number of scans, tests, dialysis sessions, chemotherapy treatments, and other procedures and you begin to see the vast numbers of individuals receiving medical care at ambulatory care facilities. As more and more of us choose these outpatient services for increasingly complex procedures, it is all the more important to learn about this critical area of health care.

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Outpatient Services and Infection Prevention: An Introduction [Part 1]

by Erica Mitchell | August 24 2022

In late January of 2016, the CDC issued a health advisory “urging dialysis providers and facilities to assess and improve infection control practices to stop Hepatitis C virus transmission in patients undergoing hemodialysis.” This advisory was released after an increase in Hepatitis C infections, and the preliminary evidence that transmission from patient to patient had taken place in at least 9 clinics. This advisory brought to mind the issue of infection in other outpatient settings and inspired the topic of this series, “Outpatient Services and Infection Prevention.”

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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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Infection Control and Hospital Reputation

by Erica Mitchell | October 27 2021

The word “reputation” comes from words meaning “to judge repeatedly.” This idea of forming an opinion, and reforming it over and over again as time goes on, is the critical aspect of reputation: It is not something that is set in stone, but rather, is reconsidered and reevaluated indefinitely. This is especially true with a hospital’s reputation, which can move positively or negatively in the span of months, reflecting the impact of news coverage, public ratings, or financial status. So what is the role of infection prevention and control in helping form - and maintain - a hospital’s good reputation?

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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 Patient and HAIs: Impact and Engagement

by Erica Mitchell | August 4 2021

Two interesting studies examine the patient's perspective in hospital acquired infections. The patient experience happens to be an overlooked area in research, despite the valuable insights that these individuals can provide. In today's post, we'll look at what these two important studies reveal about the patient's personal experience and how to engage the patient more in HAI research.

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