While hospitals grapple with what operating room (OR) infection control procedures work best, a new study of Texas hospitals has determined two areas that stand out: mandating sterile operating conditions at or close to the wound itself;
By Kelly M. Pyrek
According to the CDC, roughly one in every 25 hospitalized patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection (HAI).1 HAIs create significant health risks and cost the healthcare industry billions of dollars each year.
By Teresa Daniels, MSN, RN, CIC
Using catheters to access the blood during hemodialysis continues to be linked with increased rates of bloodstream infections, according to a recent analysis of data from U.S. dialysis facilities.
The healthcare landscape is, of course, very different today than it was 40 years ago, when a landmark study first called for the involvement of an individual tasked with paying attention to infections in the hospital environment. As Dhar, et al. (2016) observe, "Infection prevention programs (IPP), now a standard in healthcare, saw their inception in the1970s and 1980s after studies (such as the CDC’s Study on the Efficacy of Nosocomial Infection Control [SENIC]) showed a 32 percent reduction in HAIs in hospitals with established programs compared with the 18 percent increases in infection in hospitals without." In the ensuing years, the National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance System for voluntary reporting of surveillance data was created, the Joint Commission has introduced accreditation into the picture, and, as Dhar, et al. (2016) point out, "Since this time, there have been several groups that have had direct influence on the development of IPP ranging from professional societies, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and payors. This complex landscape for infection prevention has led to the development of quality initiatives, legislative reforms, shifts in payment for HAIs, and an increased demand for transparency through public reporting of HAI data."
One of the primary ways physicians diagnose urinary tract infections is with a test that detects bacteria in urine. A new enhanced test, developed at Loyola University Chicago, detects significantly more bacteria than the standard test, according to a study presented at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in New Orleans.
With the U.S. healthcare reform mandate for increasing transparency and improved quality, the need for infection prevention and control in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) is becoming more critical than ever before for the more than 3 million Americans receiving geriatric care in U.S. annually. Consider these facts regarding infection in long-term care:
• An estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million infections occur in long-term care facilities each year.
• More than 1.5 million people live in 16,000 nursing homes in the United States. Estimates suggest infections could result in as many as 380,000 deaths among those residents each year.
• The nursing home population is expected to increase to about 5.3 million people by 2030.
Policies relating to newly emerging and highly infectious diseases in outpatient healthcare settings within the context of infection prevention and control are highly variable, according to public health experts, leaving many gaps in patient protection from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). For example, only a minority of outpatient facilities are certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and few are licensed by states or maintain accreditation status. As a result, many of these facilities are opened and operated without being held to minimum safety standards for infection control or other aspects of patient care, potentially putting patients at risk. In an October 2015 document, Outpatient Settings Policy Options for Improving Infection Prevention, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlined four key elements for states and their supporting HAI multidisciplinary advisory groups who are interested in more effective and proactive oversight of out-patient facilities: facility licensing/accreditation requirements; provider-level training, licensing and certification; reporting requirements; and establishment and effective application of investigation authorities.