Tag Archives: healthcare acquired infections

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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Filed under Healthcare Acquired Infections, Ultraviolet light to fight bacteria, Uncategorized

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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Filed under Healthcare Acquired Infections, Uncategorized

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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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

What To Do When Someone Asks About Your CSP Job

MRSA Infections in the NFL

“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.

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Filed under Healthcare Acquired Infections, Surgical Instrument Cleaning, Thursday Thought of the Day, Uncategorized

5 Ways To Save Time In Sterile Processing

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One of the complaints we hear most often from Central Sterile Processing Departments is that there are too many instruments to clean and not enough time. Surgeries are delayed, instruments pass through unclean and SPD workers get frustrated. Too much responsibility falls on this department to have them feeling this way. This is what it looks like when technicians don’t have proper time and tools to properly clean each instrument.

Dirty Surgical Tools

Interior Lumen AFTER Sterilization

1.) Flush and Brush Station

The daVinci instruments used in robotic surgeries do phenomenal things but they also create a lot of hassle for technicians. Instruments get lost, they are hard to clean and difficult to keep altogether. This station from Midbrook Medical sits in the base of the sink and helps technicians keep track of what has been scrubbed already and prevents instruments from contaminating each other. Read More flush and brush 1

2.) Recipe Baskets

These recipe baskets were designed to help central sterile processing techinican’s ability to efficiently follow the Instructions for Use to reprocess full recipe sets of da Vinci Robotic Surgery. Instruments can be transferred from the Flush and Brush Station to the recipe baskets for the Midbrook Ultrasonic Bath. Like the Flush and Brush Station, the baskets are designed to keep surgical sets together during reprocessing allowing CSPD Technicians to reprocess recipe sets for each surgical procedure in a more efficient manner.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3.) The Tempest Surgical Instrument Washer

One of the reasons the Tempest is on the list is because of its automation. With the push of a button the lid comes down and runs a programmable cycle to bring repeatable results.  This instrument washer uses a combination of high-powered, tested, and proven washing actions: ultrasonics, enzymatic soaks, agitation, exterior and interior sprays, and air injection bubble cavitation stream. The instruments are cleaned effectively far surpassing AAMI standards. Just think of what you could accomplish in SPD during this automated 30 minute cleaning cycle.tempestbanner400x289

4,) The UV Flash

Sometimes accidents happen, even in hospitals. What happens when instruments get dropped? Well the good news is that problem can be solved. In 60 seconds. The UV Flash uses UVC light to disinfect objects. All bacteria on the surface of an object will be eliminated by using this station.

UVFlash

5.) Less Repeat (O.K. I know this isnt a product but it’s true!)

Since you’re using the Tempest surgical instrument washer, instruments are being cleaned more effectivly. Since more clean instruments are making their way into the hands of surgeons, less unclean instruments are making the trip back to sterile processing. Sometimes instruments come out of SPD with bio-burden on them so visable that surgeons send them back before even using them. This creates more work for technicians that is really unnecessary. If you do things right the first time, you won’t have to do it again. At least until after the surgery….

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Filed under Gimme Five Friday, Surgical Instrument Cleaning, Ultraviolet light to fight bacteria, Uncategorized

The Problem with TEE (and The Solution TOO)

Recently Fox News and NBC Nightly News and its investigators, (including renown physician Pritish Tosh, M.D., and representatives of the CDC) featured an outbreak of e-coli infections happening after surgeries that used this TEE probe.

What is “TEE”? Transesophageal echocardiography — or, TEE — is a diagnostic procedure that uses a specialized device to display sonographic images of the heart, known as echocardiograms (which are distinguished from “ECGs,” or electrocardiograms).

In these examples, a “physical defect” in the TEE probe may have caused the TEE probe to remain contaminated after reprocessing. The complex designs of arthroscopic shaver hand-pieces and inflow/outflow cannulae retained infectious bioburden after cleaning.

TEE is a risk factor for healthcare-associated infections of gram-negative bacteria including Legionella spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli. Therefore, its proper reprocessing is required to prevent bacterial outbreaks. – Lawrence F Muscarella PhD

So how do we ensure proper reprocessing required to prevent bacterial outbreaks?

You may recall a somewhat similar situation of an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa featured on the Today Show back in 2009 in Houston, Texas.

Watch the Today Show segment here

Jahan Azizi is the head of infection control at the University of Michigan. Over the past few years here at Midbrook Medical, we have had the pleasure of working with him. Azizi, who was featured in this segment, has worked with Midbrook in order to deliver hospitals with the most effective surgical instrument washer.

One of the things Azizi talks about frequently that we’ve adapted ourselves is, “If it isn’t clean, it can’t be sterilized.” That’s what is happening with these instruments. When the instrument is still dirty and it goes into the sterilizer, the bio-burden is essentially getting baked on.

The Tempest process that uses ultrasonic, enzymatic soak, agitation, exterior fluid spray and interior lumen flush system. See for yourself why Jahan made sure to have the Tempest in his Central Sterile Processing Department.

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Filed under Healthcare Acquired Infections, Surgical Instrument Cleaning, Thursday Thought of the Day, Uncategorized