Monthly Archives: October 2013

Are We Running Out Of Antibiotics?

Deadly super bugs are starting to become such a big problem that nearly everyone has heard mention of this major concern.  But, what can we do about it?  Could we have reached the end of the era of antibiotics?  What can we do to fight back against these super bugs?  Dr. Arjun Srinivasan from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spoke with Frontline about the rising problem of superbugs and the options that we have left to combat them.

The following interview is lengthy but I guarantee it is one everyone must read in order to better understand the severity of what is happening. An issue like this is going to take more than doctors and drug companies to solve. Read this article and watch this video then forward it on to help increase action at the local level to combat this problem.

READ THE ARTICLE        or     WATCH THE VIDEO

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Is There a Vitamin That Prevents Infection?

The answer is D, as in Vitamin D.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has published a new trial showing that high doses of vitamin D3 supplements can help effectively protect against infections and reduce use of antibiotics among the elderly.

Vitamin D products, can be found in small amounts in a few foods, including fatty fish like tuna. It is also more available these days through dairy, juices and cereals.  Our parents (and commercials) always told us that milk does a body good because it helps treat weak bones, prevent osteoporosis, arthritis, and even skin conditions among other things. The vitamin is also obtained through exposure to sunlight, which is by far my favorite form. It has been known to enhance innate immunity by promoting the production of antibacterial peptides which help fight microbial and viral infection prevention.

The wonder vitamin even helps prevent the flu! The study observed that “taking vitamin D supplements can be at least as effective as the flu vaccine, which has a normally lower than 50 to 60% efficacy.” By using both the vaccine and vitamin D, to prevent the flu, odds of getting an infection can be even lower but as a person who loves sun but hates needles, this is still some good news.

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Is There a Zombie Apocalypse Happening?

GetAKit_BadgeWell no, but sort of.

The term zombie apocalypse has been trending over the internet but now with a much different definition. Many view a so-called zombie apocalypse as the end of the world. People rise from the dead in rotten corpses and scower the earth for blood and brains as their new food source.  I don’t like movies about zombies because it doesn’t make sense to me and really its scary to even think about. Yet the same could be said for deadly bacteria like CRE. I don’t understand it and its pretty scary too. Read here about CRE and the spread of a bacteria that leaves untreatable infections.

Now when you search google to find information on a zombie apocalypes, you might be surprised to see that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is what pops up in the results. The CDC?!? Yep. And it almost makes sense! It turns out this cheeky campaign is really catching on, bringing infection prevention awareness to a whole new level.

In the middle of International Infection Prevention Week, going on now through the 26th of October, PBS’s Frontline is featuring a 1-hour investigation into antibacterial resistant infections including NDM-1 and the NIH CRE outbreak. The best part about all of it, is that its on tonight! The director, Dr. Ali Khan says, “If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack.”

Find out how to be prepared by watching the feature tonight, Tuesday October, 22nd (check your local listings for times) – Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria

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Patients Falling, Another Contributor to Hospital Costs

We’re always talking about how much it costs when a patient goes to the hospital for one ailment and contracts an infection from something else while they’re there. Hospital acquired infections are big and expensive problems. But there’s another patient/hospital factor that contributes to an unnecessary increase in expenses, patient falls.

When a patient falls in the hospital, a short visit can turn into a long one and rightfully hospitals have to foot the bill.  To prevent these falls from taking place requires not only recognizing the risk but evaluating the individual patient risk as well. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the cost of fall injuries for those 65 and older is expected to exceed $19 billion. The CDC reports that  1 out of every 3 adults falls each year and is the leading cause of injury deaths among people age 65 or older. This tells me patients 65 and older arP8194248e at a greater risk of falling. After listening to this NPR story  about a patient sleepwalking on Ambian, I see patients on certain types of medication are at an increased risk of falling as well.

At hospitals some patients communicate the increased risk of patient falls to staff through medical records, patient education material, alarms, signage on doors, walls, wristbands and socks. Whatever your facility’s fall prevention plan is, Midrook Medical assembles Patient Fall Prevention Kits so the process is seamless. Midbrook purchases and assembles the fully customizable kits of your choice. The time consuming stuffing and assembling of patient kits often done by hospital staff can now be handed off to Midbrook. This assures items are prepared accurately and on time, taking worry and human error out of the equation.

A proper fall prevention plan can save an organization a great deal of money. The best part is that after the intial implementation, the plan basically runs itself. Midbrook purchases and assembles the kits and the organization benefits by increasing patient’s safety and decreasing patient fall related expenses.

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5 Workplace Lessons You Can Learn From A Sterile Processing Technician

13_CelebrateCSWeek

This week especially, we’re celebrating Central Service professionals! After reading the IAHCSMM Celebration Magazine, I was impressed by the article, “Tools of the Trade.” In the article, Certified Sterile Processing Technician II,  Margi Mattfeld, was quoted with one of the best summaries on working in the CS field. The insight she shared from her CS career is something every member of the workforce could learn a thing or two from.

“I truly believe that we need to lead by example in order to achieve positive results. I show up to work with a smile on my face, and a positive outlook, despite the possible heavy workload in my eight-hour shift. I compliment co-workers doing the work with me, or extend a helping hand during my work shift to lift the burden of them getting too stressed or feeling behind in their work. I am present to learn, ask questions, pay attention, and accomplish the task accurately and positively. Positive teamwork is crucial within the Sterile Processing Department.

I also believe that positive teaching and forgiving minor mistakes in Sterile Processing boosts employee morale and creates future successes. Sterile Processing involves specific training and constant change, so guiding a co-worker positively in their work is key. I learn more and complete a task better if I work closely with positive leaders who are willing to show me clear direction at a task, and follow up with reference books, etc.

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. As a supervisor or manager, identifying your employee’s strengths in a positive way will benefit your department in productive, efficient methods. I have learned my own strengths and weaknesses as a technician by making a minor mistake, thus avoiding making the same mistake twice.

Being Certified in Sterile Processing means continual education, and continual learning. I have learned to be proactive in learning new tasks at work, in order to achieve success in handling these tasks on a weekend or holiday shift. Sterile Processing Departments need proactive, positive leaders, supervisors, managers, and co-workers to accomplish the critical task of meeting patients’ needs.

Working in Sterile Processing the past five years, (four years certified), I have learned many hat tricks to this type of critical work. These are five lessons I have learned from a collaboration of Managers, Supervisors and co-workers:

  1. Focus more on the task at hand; talk less.
  2. Pay attention to detail per task. ALWAYS double-check your work!
  3. Work as a proactive, positive team member. Sterile Processing work can be very tedious; therefore, combining a positive, uplifting spirit at work will boost morale and provide less tension during busy times. Laughter and small talk is good medicine amongst co-workers when the going gets tough!
  4. Develop strong work ethics and continue to learn new tasks. Remember, the needs of the patient come first!
  5. Find the right fit, and the right hospital for you.

We need to lead by example in order to achieve positive results. I have found this particular job position very challenging and educational.” – Margi Mattfeld

In honor and support of CS Week (October 13th-19th) share with us some of the workplace lessons you’ve learned!

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APIC’s New Infection Prevention Campaign

This week the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) announced a new campaign to increase educational efforts and increase awareness on the importance of infection prevention. If you haven’t checked out the Infection Prevention and You  website yet, you should right now.

This is a great way for infection prevention professionals to keep both patient and healthcare professionals informed of current infection prevention strategies and patient safety information. One of the things I like best about this site is that it shares advice on what to do at home, work, school, and even on vacation. The new campaign empowers more than just those in the healthcare field to be proactive in preventing infection. When nearly 1.7 million people in the U.S get infections in hospitals while being treated for something else, it takes an army to stop this unnecessary tragedy from happening.

During this time of the government shutdown and the CDC currently out of the office, its great timing for APIC to step up to help. The latest example of the government shutdown effects is the outbreak of salmonella in chicken that has sickened people in 18 states. APIC’s tab called “Your home,” on new site highlights proper cooking techniques to prevent foodborne illnesses.

Show your support in APICS’s infection prevention efforts and share this great infographic with others.

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Superbug CRE Poses Increasing Danger In Hospitals

Wednesday
CRE

CRE is a superbug not as commonly known as some others but it is one of the most dangerous threats inside hospitals. Resistant to antibiotics, cases have been found in at least 43 states. Only 9 of the 50 states have mandatory reporting laws for CRE.

Encourage your hospitals to instill aggressive programs now in order to limit further spread. Are you part of a hospital with a plan? We would love to hear how you’re addressing the issue.

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by | 10/09/2013 · 1:32 pm