Archive for: Infection Control

Robot disinfects hospital rooms with a touch of a button

By: March 4th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

Imagine if you could hit a button and have a patient room disinfected within 10 minutes? Thanks to Mark Stibich, a Texas-based epidemiologist, that concept has become a reality. Stibich co-founded Xenex Healthcare Services and developed a germ-fighting robot that uses UV light to kill viruses, bacteria, and spores.

More than 100 hospitals have purchased or rented the robots, and for good reason. Studies have found that the robot cuts bacterial contamination by a factor of 20 and kills more than 75% of the pathogen C. difficile. Stibich told BusinessWeek that he got the idea to sanitize hospital rooms with UV light several years ago while working in Russia, where he learned that a UV lamp was being used to kill airborne tuberculosis germs.

To use the robot, hospital housekeepers simply wheel it into the room, close the door, and use a remote to operate it. Each robot costs $125,000 or a monthly fee of $3,700. While it seems pricey, the average cost of a hospital-acquired infection can be close to $30,000, making the robot a worthwhile investment. Stibich notes that the robots can be used in staff areas as well as patient rooms, adding to their value in creating a safe hospital environment.

Certification of infection preventionists could yield better practices

By: February 20th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

Hospital infection preventionists (IP) are generally in agreement as to which practices have strong or weak evidence to support their use, with those IPs certified in infection prevention and control perceiving evidence as strong more often than non-certified IPs, according to a study published recently in the American Journal of Infection Control. Researchers of the VA Ann Arbor & University of Michigan Medical School conducted the study as a means of understanding how those who lead infections prevention activities perceive the strength of evidence supporting practices designed to prevent device- and procedure-associated infections. IPs lead programs to protect patients and healthcare workers alike.

Of the 28 practices included in the study, alcohol-based hand rub, aseptic urinary catheter insertion, and semi-recumbent positioning of patients on ventilators were among those practices perceived to have strong evidence to support their use, according to 90% of respondents. Practices identified as having weak evidence included central catheter changes, the use of silver-coated endotracheal tubes for ventilator-associated pneumonia, and the use of antimicrobials in the urinary catheter drainage bag.

According to researchers, the study’s results suggest that certified IPs may lead to greater evidence-based practice, which would in turn lead to a reduction of healthcare-associated infections and hospital costs.

Does your organization encourage certification for infection preventionists? Do you feel that certification is a necessary step for IPs? Share in the comments sections below.

Poll: Hand washing in healthcare settings

By: January 23rd, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

State advises 8,000 dental patients to be tested for hepatitis, HIV

By: July 24th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

An investigation by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment indicates that as many as 8,000 dental patients may have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens from unsafe injection practices.

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Should Fed funding for patient safety go bye-bye?

By: July 23rd, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

A House subcommittee, on July 18, voted to eliminate all funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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Oregon’s hospitals report HAI prevention success

By: July 17th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The fight against healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) by Oregon hospitals has yielded impressive results in decreased infection rates and potential cost savings, according to a July 17 announcement from the CDC.

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Mercy! Time to consider risk of MRSA from unsafe injections

By: July 17th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Move over hepatitis B, C, and HIV, and make room for MRSA infections as a consequence of unsafe injection practices.

A July 16 post on the CDC Safe Healthcare blog by Dr. Michael Bell, associate director for infection control at the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, discusses two recent outbreaks in Arizona and Delaware where the use of medication from single-dose/single-use vials for multiple patients resulted in “staph/MRSA infections in at least 10 patients receiving injections for pain relief.”

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Ask the expert: Healthcare worker TB exposure

By: July 16th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: A patient seen by our practice has recently tested positive for tuberculosis and is undergoing treatment.  From an OSHA perspective, what follow-up treatment do we need to do for employees who were exposed to him?

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Alta Bates Summit ordered to pay $84,450

By: July 12th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Cal/OSHA has imposed an $84,450 fine on Alta Bates Summit Medical Center for failure to warn and protect a hospital worker and an Oakland police officer exposed to an emergency room patient with meningitis, according to the San Jose Mercury News, July 2.

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Working while sick. Is it really worth it?

By: July 12th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

It happens to everyone at some point: you wake up with a cough, a headache, or a stuffy nose, and all you want to do is go right back to sleep. But more often than not, something pulls you out of bed and you force yourself through the daily grind. After all, you can’t afford to miss that meeting or leave your colleagues in the lurch, right?

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Voluntary recall by Advanced Sterilization Products

By: July 10th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP) issued a voluntary recall of certain lots of its STERRAD® CYCLESURE® 24 Biological Indicator product.

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Study examines infection prevention practices in home healthcare

By: July 10th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

“A healthy boy was infected with antibiotic-resistant bacterium that was traced to his mother’s nurse’s bag left in the family’s car after his mother’s home healthcare visit to a patient with the same infection. Although the boy’s infection and the patient’s infection were never DNA tested, the coincidence was remarkable,” according to a study on how home healthcare workers have acquired infections.

The study conducted by Case Western Reserve University researchers and appearing in the April issue of Home Healthcare Nurse, assessed home healthcare agency policies for: isolating infected patients, leaving necessary equipment like stethoscopes in the home, teaching families about preventive actions, and taking the nurse’s bag into the nurse’s own home when infections are known to be present in residences visited earlier in the day.

Researchers found that 5.9% of workers reported receiving treatment for skin, soft tissue, or gastrointestinal bacterial infections which were confirmed by lab tests confirmed by lab tests.

“The organisms responsible for these healthcare-associated infections in the home healthcare clinician population were Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Not surprisingly, these are the most common organisms isolated from patients who received a healthcare associated infection in the acute and long-term care settings,” according to the study.

Also, the study found that 60% of the home healthcare agencies healthcare agencies reviewed “did not have written policies about handling infection control when antibiotic-resistant infections were known.”

Click here to read more about the study.

 

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