Heres a sneak peek at some of the products, services and education available for demonstration at the 37th Annual Educational Conference and International Meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). The meeting takes place July 11-15 in New Orleans.
3M will hold a series of educational sessions for APIC attendees, beginning on July 12. The company will offer two satellite symposia for continuing education contact hours:
-- Monday, July 12, 6:00-7:30 a.m. CST: Surgical Site Infections beyond Core Measures. Presented by Edward Septimus, MD, FIDSA, FACP, FSHEA, medical director of the Infection Prevention and Epidemiology Clinical Services Group at HCA Health System in Houston, Texas. Attendees will receive 1.5 contact hours.
-- Tuesday, July 13, 5:30-7:30 a.m. CST: Hospital Cleaning and Environmental HAIs, What is the Link? Presented by Curtis Donskey, MD, from Louis Stokes Cleveland VAMC, and John Boyce, MD, chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases and hospital epidemiologist at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, Conn. Attendees will receive 2 contact hours.
Both symposia will take place at the Sheraton New Orleans, Grand Ballroom C (500 Canal Street). APIC-registered attendees can sign up for the symposia by contacting Connie Piscitello at email@example.com or at (800) 413-1795 ext 3038.
Other non-CE educational programs will be offered in the 3M booth (#1716) throughout the conference for attendees wishing to learn more about the latest technologies and techniques that may help prevent healthcare-associated infections. The following sessions will be held in the booth daily Monday-Wednesday (a specific schedule will be available in the booth):
-- Hand Hygiene in the 21st Century
-- Clean or Not, Can You Tell?
-- Nasal Carriage of S. aureus
-- Importance of Oral Care for Ventilated Patients
-- How to Read a Clinical Study Article
In addition to its complete portfolio of product solutions for infection control needs from preoperative prep to post-operative sterilization to pandemic preparedness, 3M will demonstrate a number of emerging products and technologies to help healthcare facilities reduce the rate of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
Professional Disposable International, Inc.
Professional Disposables International, Inc., has provided APIC with an unrestricted educational grant to develop a new elimination guide specifically targeting dialysis settings that offers recommendations and best practices for environmental cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and vascular access/skin antisepsis as well as other infection prevention topics. According to the 2008 U.S. Renal System Data, between 1993 and 2006, hospitalization rates for infections in hemodialysis patients rose by 34 percent, while rates for vascular access infections doubled in the same period. The Department of Health and Human Services has identified hemodialysis settings are a component of the plan's next phase for reimbursement changes, as well as increased scrutiny. The 130-page elimination guide will be released to all members of APIC in June and to more than 3,000 dialysis clinics beginning in August.
"Vascular catheter-related infections, multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs), specifically C. difficile and MRSA, bloodstream infections, are on the rise, which calls for more diligent efforts toward patient safety, hand hygiene, vascular access and environmental surface disinfection," says Dr. Hudson Garrett, director of clinical affairs. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with APIC on this exciting tool that is desperately needed for end user clinicians in hemodialysis settings. With phase 2 and 3 of the Health and Human Services Action Plan being developed, which will target additional outpatient settings such as hemodialysis, the importance of basic infection prevention and control practices is critically important."
SixLog Corporation, an Astro Pak company providing on-site biological decontamination and sterilization services, will be demonstrating its iHP (ionized Hydrogen Peroxide) room disinfection/sterilization technology at APIC booth #2235.
SixLog's featured system uses iHP technology, the next-generation of hydrogen peroxide fogging systems. Originally developed for the U.S. Department of Defense to combat biological warfare, this breakthrough technology is now available for commercial use. iHP has proven efficacy in a multitude of industries including life sciences and pharmaceutical, and SixLog now offers its service to the healthcare industry to address the ongoing challenges resulting from a nationwide goal of preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
"I am very excited to be able to offer our room disinfection/sterilization service to the healthcare industry," says Vanessa Valdez, general manager of SixLog. "iHP is a proven sterilant that not only kills all microorganisms, but their spores as well, eradicating any possible reproduction of pathogenic organisms leading to nosocomial infections. We offer fully integrated, customized solutions to meet infection prevention needs at an affordable price. iHP can easily augment any hospital's terminal cleaning protocol to provide a more robust result."
SixLog's room disinfection/sterilization service utilizing iHP technology solves critical infection control challenges in the healthcare industry and is particularly effective against common "superbugs" such as MRSA, C. difficile, VRE and multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter. iHP does not damage sensitive electronics and dissolves into just water and oxygen making it safe for staff, patients and visitors as well as the environment.
The first use of Radio Frequency IDentification technology to monitor hand hygiene will be unveiled at APIC by HandGiene Corporation at booth 2148. With nearly 2 million people dying a year from healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and costing up to $50 billion annually, the Joint Commission as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are pressing for higher hand hygiene compliance rates. A recent study showed that handwashing and sanitizing in a healthcare setting can be as low as 34 percent. The only way to increase compliance with protocols and provide accountability is to monitor staff interactions with patients. HandGiene RFID badges, dispensers and sensors provide real-time compliance data and can instantly alert staff, patients and administrators to non-compliance.
"Until recently, there was no cost-effective way to easily monitor hand hygiene, reduce the incidence of HAIs and increase compliance rates up to 100 percent," said Vincent Verdiramo, HandGiene Corporations president. "HandGiene's all-inclusive system meets industry hand-hygiene guidelines."
Proprietary soap and sanitizers make compliance easy. Facilities can readily change between liquids, foams or gels without changing dispensers. Solutions are formulated with and without alcohol. Web-based software allows internal reports for re-training as well as external documentation of compliance to protocols. The system integrates with legacy IT for rapid installation and ease-of-use.
Ecolab Inc. announces the launch of Virasept, Ecolab's first ready-to-use (no mixing required) hard surface disinfectant approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be effective against Clostridium difficile spores. Clostridium difficile is a highly drug-resistant bacterium that causes diarrhea and severe lower intestinal inflammation, which can be life-threatening. It is very difficult to clean and can remain on hard surfaces for months. Over the past few years the incidence of Clostridium difficile has been on the rise in healthcare settings with studies showing it affecting more than 7,000 patients in hospitals each day with an estimated cost of $18 million to $52 million.
"Environmental services departments continue to face increasingly more virulent and persistent pathogens as they work to keep healthcare facilities clean," said Paul B. Chaffin, vice president of Ecolab Healthcare North America. "Developing effective methods to clean rooms contaminated with Clostridium difficile is particularly challenging due to the persistence of the spore in the environment. Virasept is an effective, non-bleach alternative that can help reduce the environmental transmission of challenging microorganisms like Clostridium difficile."
Virasept is designed to work within 10 minutes of application against Clostridium difficile spores and in four minutes or less for a broad spectrum of other pathogens, including MRSA, VRE, E. coli, HIV, hepatitis B, Influenza A (H1N1), and norovirus. Its patented, non-corrosive chemistry is formulated for daily cleaning of high-touch room surfaces such as hand rails, telephones, bathroom fixtures, sinks and tray tables without harming the equipment. Virasept cleans, disinfects and deodorizes in one-step, helping to reduce the need for inventory of multiple products.
Excelsior Medical's SwabCap disinfection cap for needleless IV connectors will be exhibited at APIC booth 1520. Excelsior Medical's booth will also feature talks by nationally known infection control expert Nancy Moureau, RN, BSN, CRNI, CPUI. Moureau is founder of PICC Excellence, a training, educational and consulting company. She will speak on "Disinfecting Needleless Connectors" on Monday, July 12 at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, July 13 at 11 a.m. CDT.
SwabCap is a simple twist-on device that disinfects swab-able luer access valves (needleless IV connectors) in between line accesses. The FDA-cleared device passively disinfects the valve top and threads while providing a physical barrier to contamination. The cap's design and ease-of-use also help verify compliance with standard-of-care clinical protocols for cleaning luer access valves -- including the new (January 2010) Joint Commission requirement. The commission now requires that applicant healthcare facilities have in place "a standardized protocol to disinfect catheter hubs and injection ports before accessing the ports." SwabCap disinfects luer access valves by bathing the valve's threads and top with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. As the cap is twisted onto the threads, a foam pad inside the cap is compressed, releasing the alcohol. The twisting action and the patent pending thread cover design help focus the alcohol on the targeted areas, without activating the luer access valve. The cap also acts as a physical barrier to touch and airborne contamination, lasting up to 96 hours under normal conditions if not removed.
SwabCap represents an important advancement in the standardization of valve disinfection that could help prevent potentially deadly catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs). CRBSIs are among the most frequent and dangerous infections associated with medical care. These infections are often fatal, with an attributable mortality rate of 12 percent to 25 percent. Ensuring the disinfection and protection of luer access valves may play a crucial role in eliminating CRBSIs. Compliance with clinical protocols for cleaning luer access valves is increasingly important to hospitals. Besides protecting patient safety, the protocols reduce hospitals' financial risk. CRBSIs cost an estimated $34,000 to $56,000 per incident to treat, according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and also extend a patient's hospital stay by an average of seven days.
Pharmacy OneSource, Inc., software-as-a-service provider to more than 1,300 hospitals in the United States, announced today at the APIC) annual meeting several new improvements have been added to Sentri7, a Web-based, enterprise-wide electronic surveillance, documentation and reporting application.
Infection prevention teams now have access to standard National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) reporting forms for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) within Sentri7. Relevant data automatically populates the form from the patient profile and the reports can be exported to facilitate entry into the NHSN database.
Rules can now be written against surgery schedules, allowing infection preventionists to see when prophylactic antibiotics have not been properly discontinued within 24 hours following surgery. This helps ensure compliance with core measures related to the Surgical Care Improvement Project (specifically SCIP 3).
Another new feature provides users with the ability to mark patients with positive cultures as part of the HAI investigation process as "reviewed." This saves time by avoiding the review of patients multiple times among multiple infection preventionists. This functionality allows clinicians to easily coordinate their workflows across multiple shifts.
Sentri7 by Pharmacy OneSource combines medication, laboratory, patient, radiology, and surgery data to facilitate earlier, better, and more consistent interventions. Accelerating workflows can lead to shorter lengths of stay, lower costs, improved patient safety and reduced antibiotic resistance.
Handwashing and frequent wiping of surfaces like counters and handrails are necessary elements in institutional infection-control protocols. Effective as these techniques are, however, they are labor-intensive, not automated, and do nothing to counter airborne bacteriaone of the primary mechanisms for the spread of disease. With the introduction of Prolitec, Inc.s aria air-sanitizing agent, assisted-living facilities, hospitals, medical offices, and other enclosed spaces finally have a means of addressing this critical gap in infection control.
Prolitecs Aerobiology and Infection Control division unveiled the new aria system today at the annual conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), in New Orleans.
The aria air-sanitizing system, which won EPA registration in November 2009, uses newly patented Prolitec technology to generate an invisible "dry" vapor of a safe and effective air sanitizing agent. The vapor can be distributed within a space directly from a small wall-mounted appliance or indirectly through an air handler. The result is a uniformly distributed vapor compliant with OSHA air-contaminant restrictions for workplace inhalationone that is non-damaging to materials and electronics, yet significantly decreases the numbers of viable airborne bacteria under relatively wide conditions of relative humidity and temperature.
"Bacteria and other microorganisms are frequently introduced into the air by actions such as sneezing and coughing. Once microorganisms are airborne they can be inhaled or can settle and contaminate surfaces," noted Dr. Craig A. Kelly, a Johns Hopkins University scientist and chief of Prolitecs Aerobiology and Infection-Control unit. "The function of the aria system is to reduce the concentration of airborne bacteria in a continuous and automated manner, thereby reducing the likelihood of inhalation or surface-settling of viable microorganisms. Amid heightened awareness of disease transmission by airborne microorganisms, aria provides a critical tool for the infection-control professional to address airborne bacteria in a way that was not previously available. That can translate into a greater sense of safety and well-being for patients, residents, caregivers and visitors alike."