HAI Types

Biofilms & Catheters: The Mechanisms of Infection

February 1, 2016

Biofilms, or colonies of bacteria growing on surfaces and medical devices, can inflict intractable or recurring disease. During colonization, biofilms develop characteristics and behaviors more dangerous and powerful than those of planktonic (singleton) bacteria. In fact, these insidious microscopic collectives could be regarded as biological case studies in “strength in numbers” as they unify against external assault, resisting the host immune response as well as antimicrobials, and exact their high human and fiscal costs. Puzzlingly, although biofilms are a ubiquitous, well documented cause of infection, they receive only a modicum of the attention they clearly merit.

Using a Tracking System to Improve Infection Control and Patient Outcomes

January 29, 2016

Healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) are among the leading causes of patient disability and mortality as well as financial loss for health care institutions with hundreds of millions of patients affected and the United States losing approximately $6.5 billion annually. Despite efforts to solve the HAI problem, 3.5 percent to 12 percent of patients are affected each year. HAI are often due to factors such as insufficient application of hygienic practices and hospital protocols.(1)

2016 Outlook: The Infection Prevention Imperatives

December 30, 2015

Infection preventionists (IPs) continue to be consumed with keeping up with evolving infection prevention imperatives, according to an online survey conducted by ICT that asked respondents what they believed were the most important issues facing the entire infection prevention and hospital epidemiology community in 2016. Other top issues on their minds for the new year included addressing antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance, advancing quality improvement and patient safety, addressing emerging pathogens and infectious diseases, and evolving the evidence base to answer unresolved issues.

Slide Show: Hospital-Acquired Conditions

December 2, 2015

A report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today shows that thanks in part to provisions of the Affordable Care Act, an estimated 87,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and nearly $20 billion in healthcare cos

Your Role in Infection Control

November 23, 2015

As healthcare professionals we often wonder how much difference we truly make in the lives of our patients. I often wonder if I am doing everything that I possibly can to create a safe environment for every person around me — not just patients but my team as well. Maybe you are a nurse or tech who has wondered the same. Having worked in healthcare for the last nine years and endoscopy for the last four, I have met a variety of people each with their own story to tell. There are certainly moments that bring to light just how much impact we truly have in someone’s life. Errors often occur due to a lack of education or what I would refer to as follow-the-leader. Someone performs a task incorrectly and it continues until someone questions the process. That is where we come in. I want to encourage all of you to take that step forward and be the advocate that our patients so desperately need. Let me explain why I am so passionate about infection control and what we can do to continue creating a safer environment for all of our patients.

Variability in Barrier Precautions Use Raises Red Flag About Arterial Catheter Infection Risk

November 23, 2015

An expert in medical device-related infections is trying to raise awareness of the variability that exists in following guidelines designed to help prevent catheter-associated infections, particularly in arterial catheters (ACs) used in intensive care units (ICUs) and operating rooms (ORs). Leonard A. Mermel, DO, ScM, medical director of the epidemiology and infection control department at Rhode Island Hospital, and his colleagues recently published results of a survey (Cohen, et al. 2015)  showing significant variability regarding how clinicians manage arterial catheters in ICU patients and that these practices may increase risk of infection.

Pages