Tag Archives: innovation

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

Is There A Silver Lining To This Government Shutdown?

Last week I mentioned the government shutdown and how it’s affecting the CDC’s workforce, resulting in the furlough of nearly 70% of their employees. Many of those workers were worried about there not being anyone responsible for keeping an eye on the spreading infections and foodborne illnesses as they continue to circulate. As I wrote that article I thought about raising the question about electronic health records (EHR). I wondered why if the new healthcare laws are pushing the use of EHRs to track infections, they aren’t stepping up right now. With the help of President Bush and President Obama, the government has put in place incentives and penalties for adopting a certified EHR by 2014. I’m sure there are many healthcare facilities that are still in the process of adopting these new requirements, but with only a few more months in this year, just how many are left? Wouldn’t that information be a big crutch right now at a time when the CDC is handicapped?

Even though I didn’t end up discussing EHRs, I was happy to read this article on Athenahealth.  The provider of cloud-based services for electronic health records has stepped in to monitor diseases in wake of the government shutdown. According to the article the company’s network includes data from nearly 44,000 medical providers and 40 million patient records across the nation. It is great that during flu season, Athenahealth is monitoring and sharing their findings on the current flu season on their blog. They are sharing their findings on various trends to help the health of the population and look ahead to contributing information.

It seems Athenahealth has leveraged electronic health records to become a silver lining during this time where our politicians can’t seem to come to an agreement. Maybe this will start to give more importance to the electronic sharing of this type of information and allow us to get a better handle on how infections and diseases are spread.

Do you  know of any other examples of silver linings that are shining through during the gloomy time of this shutdown? Comment and let us hear about it.

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by | 10/08/2013 · 10:36 am

Is “Looking Clean” Enough?

How do you know your hospital is clean? How do you know something is free of bioburden? Don’t make assumptions because it “looks clean”. The MediCount ATP Testing Device allows you to objectively measure the cleanliness level of a surface or an instrument based on what YOU define as “clean”. Clean should be a result, not a process.

The MediCount ATP Testing Device Provides a Way to Quantify “Clean”. The device provides a numerical reading in less than 30 seconds and provides a quantitative measurement representing the amount of organic material present on a surface. Read More

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by | 10/02/2013 · 1:29 pm

How To Kill The Norovirus



New research carried out in the South could help wipe out the winter vomiting bug norovirus, saving hundreds of lives. Scientists from the University of Southampton have discovered that copper kills the bug almost instantly.

Experts say if the surfaces we touch constantly like door handles, taps and stair rails are made with the metal, it would drastically reduce the spread of infections. Christine Alsford spoke to Professor Bill Keevil from the University of Southampton and a norovirus patient Serena Spencer-Jones.

More about Antimicrobial Copper

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by | 09/18/2013 · 10:00 am

September 13, 2013


Often times we get stuck on the bad things happening. The evening news is all stories about people doing things they shouldn’t. We call our friends and vent to them about what went wrong in their day. Why is it that the ones who act up are the ones who get suspended and get to stay home from school like everyone else wishes they could?

But what happens to those that do things right? The teacher’s pets, the constant advocates, the heros.

That’s where the Top 5 #InfectionPreventionSuccess Stories come into play. These organizations are doing things right, doing innovative things that go above and beyond normal expectations.

1.) MRSA incidence in dialysis patients declining

2.) Founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths.

3.) American technology effective for Mers-CoV prevention

4.) CleanLink releases list of infection prevention practices that work!

5.) Achieving Reduced Infection Rates via Hand Hygiene Compliance

How about a round of applause and a little attention to those that deserve it. Keep up the good work!

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Filed under Daily Blog Posts, Gimme Five Friday, Healthcare Acquired Infections, Uncategorized

September 12, 2013

Hey NFL Physicians Society, WAKE UP!

MRSA Infections in the NFL

MRSA Infections in the NFL

Ok, maybe that’s too harsh of a title to use, but read the rest of the article and then let’s decide. I recently read an article talking about the serious issue affecting the NFL. The article talks about how the NFL Physicians Society has sent several newsletters and memos to the league, reminding them to “remain vigilant” about trying to prevent MRSA infections. Players like The Tampa Bay Buccaneer guard, Carl Nicks and place kicker Lawrence Tynes are fighting MRSA, a potentially life threatening staph infection resistant to most antibiotics.

One of the reasons this has become a problem seemingly more prevalent in the sports world,  is because these athletes are extremely sweaty. They are in close contact with each other on the field and in the locker room, sweating on the turf, equipment, towels and a ball that they pass from one person to the next.  Then there are the mouth guards. Continuously taken in and out of their mouth with their hands or dropped on the ground. Yuck!

So what does the NFL Physicians Society suggest these athletes do to prevent this increased risk of infection?  “Hand washing and good hygiene.” That’s the best advice they offer. And while suggesting hand washing and good hygiene is better than nothing at all, I think there has to be more that can be done.

It’s the year 2013, we know more about the spread of infection than say, 50 years ago. What kind of technology or science can we utilize to help these sweaty athletes stay healthy? One example I can think of is to utilize UVC light that we know is proven to kill germs. Have the players place those mouth guards and towels, etc. into a UV Flash that can disinfect in 60 seconds.

I’m sure a lot of you reading this also know a thing or two about infection prevention practices and have a few ideas yourself. The issue of infection not only lies in the NFL player’s locker room. We have to remember it’s rampant in the real world too and that’s an even bigger problem. Maybe the NFL needs to become a role model for hospitals and medical facilities!

I’m not saying hand washing doesn’t help limit the transfer of bacteria but if it was working so well, we wouldn’t be having such an epidemic. Other than hand washing, what would you suggest the NFL do to prevent the spread of infection? Who knows, maybe next year’s NFL Health and Safety Report will feature your idea as a new standard practice.

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Filed under Daily Blog Posts, Thursday Thought of the Day, Ultraviolet light to fight bacteria, Uncategorized

September 11, 2013

Is George Whitfield Jr. Copying Midbrook?Wednesday

Football “Quarterback Guru,” George Whitfield Jr. was recently featured on ESPN’s College Game day talking about something we too have been discussing lately here at Midbrook. In the segment Whitfield explains how he frequently takes principles and ideas from other things that may seem unconventional and uses them to train some of the industry’s most elite Quarterbacks.

He has the athletes practicing on the sandy beach and in the wavy water. He talks in analogies about suits and ties, car washes and vehicle mechanics. Now while George didn’t refer to it in the same words as we do, he is essentially talking about a concept some would call, “The Medici Effect.” It’s a theory we’ve blogged about quite a bit recently that is changing the way we look at innovation. Author, Frans Johansson, goes into detail about it in his book, “The Medici Effect, ” but you can also see the discussion we’ve had about the phenonemon in the past blog post here.

When I watched this segment on ESPN, my first thought was, “Is George Whitfield Jr. copying us using the Medici Effect with his athletes?” And, my second thought was, “Are we copying George?” Yet ultimatley I came to the resolve that it’s a darn good strategy and who wouldn’t want to copy that?!? Right? Whitfield uses unconventional approaches taken from various industries and puts things in a new light for the athletes he trains and he gets people begging to train with him and a feature segment on ESPN.

At Midbrook we use this strategy and we improve infection prevention products and ultimately help by incorporating “cleaner” products into medical environments. We draw from our past experience of making washers for the automotive industry to better manufacture washers for surgical instruments a medical equipment. We took a tool used in the Food Industry to help medical facilities quantify their levels of cleanliness. We utilized our knowledge of ozonated water used in our sister company, CapSnap Equipment, which provides water bottling equipment and services, and incorporated it into the cleaning cycles of our instrument washers. These are just a few of the many ways we incorporate concepts from other industries and apply them in another way to improve a process.

What examples of the Medici Effect have you seen or used yourself? I’m sure there are more. Share some ideas and inspiration with us and let’s see what kind of ideas we can spread!

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by | 09/11/2013 · 10:00 am