Every successful organization, from a small grassroots group to a global corporation, has a way for ideas to percolate through the system and find their way to the top decision-makers. Human ingenuity can come from anywhere, including cost-saving ideas (the matchbox), ways to attract new demographics (Flamin' Hot Cheetos), retain current customers (Starbucks), and of course, launch completely new products (PlayStation). From our last post, we know that hospitals and healthcare systems allocate their budgets in advance, with limited protocols for integrating innovations. How can the individual with an idea get that innovation in front of the right people at the right time, and of course, in the right way? In today's post, we'll explore one method to get you there.
Hospital finances are a complex process, involving all the parts of a service provider, a retail business, an investment venture, and a non-profit organization. Investment in medical innovations require buy-in from anyone (and everyone) from physicians and nurses all the way to the CFO and CEO. In today's post, we will introduce a series on the topic of how hospitals budget and spend money, and how an individual employee can use that information in order to bring an innovative idea to the right person at the right time.
In our last post, we introduced the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report on patient safety. Today we will focus on how hospital-associated infections are specifically addressed in the report and the report's emphasis on evidence based solutions to address HAIs and other preventable harm to patients.
This past month, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) submitted a report focused on recommendations around patient safety. In today's post, we'll explore who PCAST is, how they pulled together the report, their main recommendations, and in a future post, we will examine what this could mean for our nation's approach to infection control and prevention. Let's dive in!
Alongside its work in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains an ongoing international presence, providing support and expertise across a variety of healthcare activities. By working with partners in typically low- and middle-income countries, the International Infection Control Program (IICP) focuses efforts on reducing healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial resistance, and infectious disease outbreaks. In today's post, we will learn about this global program that helps keep all global citizens safe.
How do you put an economic value on a human life? Why would you ever want to? As difficult as this quantification may be, it is a necessary practice in healthcare when evaluating the efficacy of an intervention, the appropriation of resources, as well as the framing of options for both the individual and a population. Two measures attempt to accomplish this valuation: Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) and Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). In the next series of posts, we will explore both these measures, and ultimately discuss how they are used in the field of infection control and prevention.
Medical researchers have recently placed more emphasis on the non-medical conditions that impact patient health and outcomes. Collectively known as social determinants of health (SDOH), these are the conditions surrounding birth, growth, living, working, and aging. The distribution of money, power, and resources play heavily into the formula: Those lacking stable access to any (or all) of these factors see impacts on health, including exposure to and infection by disease-causing pathogens. In today's post, we'll explore the intersection of SDOH and infection control and prevention, and describe some of the ways today's health system is trying to address this issue.
As soon as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identify an emerging pathogenic virus that is either completely new or starting to spread into new geographic areas, they trigger a process that leads to us, the consumers. When a new pathogen starts to spread and cause disease, and if the CDC recommends that environmental surfaces be disinfected to help slow the spread, then the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must provide guidance on which products can make the claims that they kill the emerging pathogen. In today's post, we'll look at the series of events, and what steps products must follow to achieve this public health claim.
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.
The US government is one of the largest funders of scientific study in the world. The National Institutes of Science alone funds more medical research than any other source globally. How does the federal government allocate funds to study science? Who decides what goes where? And what role does the President play in this funding? Today we will delve into the complicated process of funding allocations, and how that money funds science.