“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.
In 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.
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.
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 are 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.
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.
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.
“So, what do you do?”
No matter what job you hold, it happens to all of us at some point. The age old question about where you spend 8+ hours, 5 days a week. It’s a talking point at social gatherings and it’s a question that some dread and others wait for. For those that work in Sterile Processing, you probably know what it is like to work in a field area where the average person may not understand what it is you really do all day. I imagine that sometimes when CSP professionals try describing what they do, they are likely to either sell themselves short or make the listener squirm.
So you probably won’t go into details about how you clean off all of the blood and guts that end up on instruments after a surgery. You certainly won’t mention the smell that you’ve gotten used to or the flattering full body suit you wear every day. That just doesn’t emanate a cool factor. You could tell them that you make sure the surgeons have the instruments they need for each surgery, but you don’t. Because that could come across as a little boring when you’re first meeting somebody.
However, what you should mention is something about how you are a patient advocate. You ensure each and every item that comes out of that room is cleaned, sterilized and disinfected. You make sure that when a patient enters the hospital for an ailment that he isn’t going to wind up with other deadly infections because there was bioburden left on the instrument giving him MRSA or C. diff. You are the one that ensures his safety from infection so he can worry about things like how many days he has to eat that hospital food and how to get the nurses to stop waking you up for testing so you can get some sleep.
Show him this video so he knows just how important your job is, because the more people that realize the value of what you do, the more attention will spread towards the importance of infection prevention.