Monthly Archives: November 2013

How to Deal With Pathogenic Microorganisms on Stethoscopes?

“Stethoscopes can take part in the transmission of health care-associated infections. We cultured 112 stethoscopes by direct imprint on blood agar to estimate the prevalence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Forty-eight (47%) produced 50 potentially pathogenic microorganisms; from these, 43 (86%) were Staphylococcus aureus, of which 18 (42%) were methicillin-resistant S. aureus. We concluded that stethoscopes should be considered as potential fomites and must be disinfected routinely before and after each patient contact.”

The above quote was taken from a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control on October 31, 2013, reminding us of all of the ways germs can be transmitted within the hospital. Just like a physician’s neck tie, lab coat, and blood pressure cuff, we know there are many common items in healthcare facilities that are capable of easily transmitting harmful bacteria. Instead of trying to wipe each item down with a disinfectant cloth, we have a better recommendation. By placing your stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, cell phone, keys, thermometer, pens, etc., into this mobile uv light station for 60 seconds, you can protect yourself and those around you from over 300 dangerous germs. UV Flash disinfecting system has shown a 100% kill rate on C. difficile, staphylococcus aureus, and acinetobacter baumanni in just 60 seconds.

This simple and effective disinfection solution saves healthcare workers from dealing with messy chemicals or spending too much time on disinfection. Just place the items inside, shut the door, and press start. The UV Flash is recommended for waiting rooms, clinics, lobbies, medical offices, nursing stations, ICU’s and more. See the proof.

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How Closely Are Infection Rates Linked To Handling of Surgical Instruments?


Interior of a Yankauer suction tip cut open length-wise demonstrating evidence of the cleaning challenge presented.

Many don’t realize just how big of a problem dirty surgical instruments can be. When organic debris remains in or on a surgical device, it can be a huge threat to patient safety. The industry holds established standards for reprocessing a wide variety of surgical instruments, requiring rinsing, soaking in enzymatic solution, hand brushing and washing in an automated reprocessor. However results can vary due to the variety of devices involved, variations in shape, size and composition, and types of  contaminants the devices are exposed to.

AORN published a study last year called Uphill Grime, written by Jahan Azizi who worked with Midbrook through this study. In the study, Azizi tested reprocessing methods of suction tips; available in a wide variety of shapes, angles, and sizes, and are exposed to all types of fluids, tissues, pathogens, and other contaminants. In the initial investigation, they followed the manufacturers’ instructions for use which included manual rinsing and brushing, soaking visibly soiled devices in enzymatic solution for 30 minutes. Then suction tips were placed in an automatic reprocessor and performed quality checks according to the IFU. A fiber-optic camera determined many suction tips still contained debris even after the IFU was completed. The insight found from the testing showed:

– Brushes used for cleaning must be available in a variety of sizes to fit the various sizes and shapes of the suction tips

– Many brushes were too soft to tackle the debris

– After suction tips were cleaned a few times, the debris became packed into the insides of the tips making it more difficult to scrub

– After each soaking and ultrasonic process, an unwanted brownish fluid was coming from the ends of the suction tips

– Suction tips should be process separately from other items due to more time required for cleaning

The results of the study indicated that the increasing sophistication of medical instruments has resulted in instruments that may be impossible to clean with current technology. A more fully automated method would ensure consistent and repeatable results.

By using the Midbrook Tempest, the process brings high-powered, industrial-grade cleaning with repeatable results to your Central Processing Department. Lumened instruments are flushed with enzymatic cleaner 3 times during the wash cycle to achieve optimal cleaning results that cannot be achieved by manual cleaning. The Tempest can clean up to 48 lumened instruments in 30 minutes which is much less time-consuming than manual washing.

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The Next Time A Friend Is Sick, Don’t Send Flowers. Send Yogurt.

ImageIn Meadowbrook, PA., at Holy Redeemer Hospital, they are trying something new. An innovative idea aimed to cut down on infection rates that also fits beautifuly into their budget. It all came about when they started to see a spike in hospital infection rates. They attempted to battle the bug with the usual approaches like patient isolation and increasing their use of bleach, but to no avail. That’s when they started taking a few  notes from Jamie Lee Curtis. Remember those Activia commercials promoting the benefits of probiotics?  Holy Redeemer must have, because they decided to make use of the small organisms that help maintain the natural balance of bacteria in the intestines.

Probiotics are said to help treat a number of conditions, including irritable bowel sydrome, tooth decay and chronic fatigue syndrome. Now, Holy Redeemer and other hospitals are using probiotics as a preventive measure for patients on antibiotics. While antibiotics are good at fighting the bad bugs, they also kill the good ones and that can lead to C. diff infections. Patients with orders for antibiotics were recommended to take two six-ounce portions of yogurt daily. The number of C. diff cases fell from 75 infections in 2011 to 23 infections in 2012.

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10 Ways To Protect Patients From Infections

The safer your patients are, the safer you are too. If you can get healthcare workers to follow these basic steps you can have a tremendous impact on infection throughout your facility. Forward this list to your coworkers today and start making infection prevention a top priority.

  1. Make patient identification a priority: right drug, right time, right dose.
  2. Keep the patient’s room and equipment clean.
  3. Know when antibiotics are appropriate . . . and when they are NOT.
  4. What you wear matters! Make sure your attire does not become a source of infection.
  5. Know about the infection preventionist.

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center produced this light hearted video highlighting just how easily germs can spread within the hospital. Informing employees on how you expect them to handle routine procedures can be a cost saving and life saving policy. Some procedures may seem obvious to most but studies have shown that it doesn’t necessarily mean they are followed as one would expect.

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Wish You Could Prevent The Spread of MRSA, CRE and E-coli More Easily? With Antimicrobial Copper, You Can.

This video will make you wish your hospital used Antimicrobial Copper. Antimicrobial Copper is used all over the world yet many hospitals still havent caught on to the highly effective strategy. Whether you work in a healthcare facility or you find yourself visiting the hospital, remind your healthcare authorities, they could be protecting patients from potentially lethal bacteria by utilizing the power of Antimicrobial Copper. The biggest culprits transferring bacteria like overbed trays, I.V. poles, table tops, handrails and more can become safer for both patients and employees as well.

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by | 11/07/2013 · 11:40 am

The CDC is on Pinterest!?!

It seems like I’ve been hearing more and more talk about the CDC and infection control lately. On TV sitcoms, evening documentaries and of course the evening news.  This is both good news and bad. Increasing awareness is the name of the game for organizations like Midbrook Medical and the CDC. However, it might also indicate that this issue of dangerous infections that is spreading further and faster.  Image

At first thought it is sort of an odd combination, disease control and social media. But Pinterest?  It’s really kind of neat. Infection Prevention authorities are blogging, hashtagging, tweeting and now pinning.

On the CDC’s Pinterest Board, they are encouraging us to embrace our “Inner #PHNerd” and share our passion for public health with others.  If you Follow their board, you’ll see the campaign is in its early stages of development with a mere 5 pins but they also have over a thousand followers already. Even on Pinterest there can be fun conversations about public health and inform others about ways to be prepared for emergencies.

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