PDI Perspective

Get perspective on infection prevention from PDI's experts.

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Maintaining the Microbiome: The Art of Balancing Colonization & Infection

Posted by Deva Rea, MPH, BSN, BS, RN, CIC on Jul 8, 2019 9:16:00 AM

Maintaining the Microbiome: The Art of Balancing Colonization & Infection 

Conventionally, we only think about the microbes on our skin and bodies when we become sick with an infection. Yet in reality, our microbial friend inhabitants have a much greater effect on our overall health and well-being than once understood. There is a significant relationship between our environment and the interaction with others on our body’s microbial flora. And now there is an increased focus on our “microbiome” and how it relates to our health. So what is our microbiome? And, what happens when it is altered and why would we purposefully remove some of these bugs (decolonization)?

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Hand Hygiene Compliance in a Non-Compliant World

Posted by Holly Montejano, MS, CIC, CPHQ on Apr 28, 2019 9:59:00 AM

Hand Hygiene Compliance in a Non-Compliant World

We all know that hand hygiene is a cornerstone of infection prevention and the “wash your hands” slogan is synonymous with infection prevention campaigns.  We also know that it’s often a missed opportunity in healthcare.  Why is compliance such an issue when the potential harm to patients can be so severe?

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Swipe right if compatible

Posted by Amanda Thornton, RN, MSN on Feb 28, 2019 9:25:00 AM

Swipe right if Compatible

It would be nice if there was just a “one-stop-shop” disinfectant that would do everything7:

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To Infinity and Beyond! No Distance is too Far for the Spread of Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms

Posted by Holly Montejano, MS, CIC, CPHQ on Jan 25, 2019 1:21:00 PM

To Infinity and Beyond! No Distance is too Far for the Spread of Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms

We all know they’re out there.  So small that you can’t see them, yet able to pack a nasty punch with colonization or infection.  Lurking on surfaces and hands WORLDWIDE, and now according to research, in outer space.  These bugs aren’t just causing alarm for physicians, public health practitioners and infection preventionists. International (and interplanetary!) travelers (and astronauts!) need to take heed.  These multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) are mobile – and whether our travel is for leisure, medical tourism or expanding our scientific frontiers in space – these pesky organisms are ubiquitous and can put even the otherwise healthy traveler (or astronaut) at risk. 

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Going Viral: What’s Trending in the Viral Scene?

Posted by Deva Rea, MPH, BSN, BS, RN, CIC on Jan 1, 2019 12:14:00 PM

Going Viral: What’s Trending in the Viral Scene?

Another New Year and back to the daily grind we go! Time to get back into our routines, meet up at the watercooler, swap holiday stories, and discuss what’s “going viral” right now. For this epidemiologist, “going viral” has a nerdier connotation and is truly a discussion about viruses. Viruses, although not technically “living”, have quite a reputation due to their impact on the living. Viruses make viral news routinely because they are critically provocative & significant to life and their viral effects are routinely highlighted in the media. Here are some of the top trending viral viruses in the country right now:

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The Prevalence of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S. Hospitals in 2015: Defining Progress and Attention to the Future

Posted by Joan Hebden, RN, MS, CIC, FAPIC on Nov 26, 2018 9:38:00 AM

The Prevalence of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S. Hospitals in 2015: Defining Progress and Attention to the Future

Point prevalence surveys of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) provide for a national snapshot of this critical patient safety concern and complement the location- or infection-specific data that infection preventionists report to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Utilizing 10 sites in the CDC Emerging Infections Program (EIP) which represents the major geographic sections of the U.S., an initial prevalence survey was conducted in 2011 of 11,282 patients in 183 hospitals and found that 4% of hospitalized patients had an HAI. 

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Where Are YOU on the Road Map to HAI Elimination?

Posted by Caitlin Stowe MPH, CPH, CIC, on Nov 1, 2018 8:37:00 PM

Where Are You on the Road Map to HAI Elimination?

As we continuously strive to prevent patient harm and healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has challenged hospitals to do even better.  They released the National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination (HAI Action Plan) back in October of 20161 

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There’s a Guide For That!

Posted by Frances (Fran) K. Canty, MA, BSN, RN, VA-BC™ on Oct 1, 2018 12:01:00 PM

Guidance Supporting Practice for Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection

An admission to the hospital is an unnerving experience for both patients and their families. Patients are hopeful that their hospital experience will mitigate the issues surrounding their illness.  However, that is often not the outcome. Statistics show that the hospital environment itself may be the cause of additional infections and subsequent illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an alarming 1 in 25 hospitalized patients acquire at least one healthcare-associated infection (HAI).(1.)

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Multi-pronged Approaches to Environmental Decontamination

Posted by Amanda Thornton, RN, MSN on Sep 4, 2018 8:12:00 AM
MITIGATING RISK IN THE TRANSMISSION OF EPIDEMIOLOGICALLY IMPORTANT PATHOGENS IN THE HEALTHCARE SETTING 

There is a lot of evidence showing transmission of pathogens both from surfaces in the healthcare setting as well as on patient and healthcare workers hands as a result of a contaminated environment (1).  To truly mitigate this risk institutions cannot rely on just one method or approach to environmental decontamination.  Rather, a multi-pronged approach must be considered as the new “gold standard” which would include an environmental cleaning program with proven practices to reduce the transmission of organisms, a robust hand hygiene program for both staff, patients, and visitors, and the inclusion of new novel approaches such as UV technology which show proven reduction in organisms on treated surfaces (2).  By utilizing a multi-pronged approach as the new standard of care, facilities are helping to decrease the risk of healthcare associated infections (HAI’s) in the hospital setting that come from a contaminated environment.

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Clostridium difficile: Is there an Infection Prevention Sweet Spot based on Hospital Occupancy?

Posted by Holly Montejano, MS, CIC, CPHQ on Aug 1, 2018 9:15:00 AM

Patients do not go to the hospital with pneumonia, a heart attack, or any other medical emergency, expecting to become sicker with a diarrheal illness!  Being hospitalized is not without its own risks- including being exposed to additional infections.  We know the common variables related to Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) for hospitalized patients—staff, patient and visitor hand hygiene, antibiotic use, and environmental cleaning and disinfection.  A new variable has recently been studied in the CDI risk portfolio—hospital occupancy—and the results are interesting!

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