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.
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.
In the world of healthcare, there are so many acronyms (and some might say, euphemisms) for the deadly toll of medical errors and infections. Two such terms are HACs and HAIs. Today we'll explore the difference between the two, both in terms of what conditions they cover and how they are regulated and reported.
Last week we discussed Preventable Adverse Events, those medical errors deemed avoidable (and not necessarily the result of negligence). This is a way of referring to medical errors in a broad way that can include errors in medications, procedures, caretaking, and safety.
There are also Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HACs) and Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs). HAIs are one example of a HAC, but not the only one. Let's explore how these terms fit into the big picture.
Medical students have made the same promise since the dawn of health care: First, do no harm. Despite living by this maxim, medical staff are human. While they are held to extremely high standards - both by their employers and by themselves - these professionals do make mistakes.
The quick definition of a preventable adverse event is harm to a patient caused by their medical care rather than their underlying medical issue (disease, illness, injury). These medical errors are often referred to as "preventable adverse events," a broad term that can be explored by looking at those three key words.
The idea of going to the hospital can be scary enough without even thinking of the possibility of getting a hospital-acquired infection (HAI). However, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of getting an infection while recovering in a hospital or other healthcare facility, especially when you are being admitted for a planned procedure with advance notice. These are 5 quick steps you can take to help you and your health care team.
We live in an environment teeming with microscopic organisms. They cover not only the surfaces we touch, but also our skin and even our insides. We are not aware of this bioburden most of the time, and even if we do get the flu or if a cut gets infected, we treat it ourselves and move on without a second thought.
Some of us are not so lucky.
We are all covered in bacteria. (You could even say we are all contaminated.) Bacteria and other microorganisms live in our gut, in our mucous membranes such as our nostrils, on our eyelashes, and in our bellybuttons. We do not consider ourselves infected, however, because these organisms have not crossed the barrier of our skin to enter our tissues, muscles, bones, and body cavities. These deep parts of our bodies are basically sterile - no microorganisms live there at all. As long as our protective barriers are not breached, we remain healthy. The "contamination" is just part of our microbiome, our own personal little collection of life that we carry around with us all the time. This microbiome is made up of colonies of bacteria, groups of same-species bacteria that live and die without our even being aware of them.
Discussions about healthcare often involve the expression "continuum of care." Why is this description becoming more common? What can we learn about the state of healthcare today by unpacking this term? Today's post will explore what is meant by this popular phrase.
In the field of patient safety, you find an army of hospital administrators, consultants, manufacturers, healthcare workers, and evaluators. Out in front, pushing into new territory while leading the way, you will find a solitary figure, a mother, the standard-bearer. Her flag is perhaps the most powerful weapon in the fight against medical errors and hospital-acquired infections: Her daughter's story.