PDI Perspective

Get perspective on infection prevention from PDI's experts.

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Infection Prevention in Long-Term Care Facilities

Posted by Joan Hebden, RN, MS, CIC, FAPIC on Nov 13, 2019 12:23:19 PM

Infection Prevention in Long-Term Care Facilities: A Significant Cultural Transformation is Underway

Each year, more than 4 million U.S. patients are admitted to or reside in long-term care (LTC) facilities with an estimated 1-3 million acquiring serious infections and approximately 380,000 of those infections resulting in death.1 The common infection types include urinary tract, diarrheal diseases, bacterial and viral respiratory tract and infections due to multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) and Candida auris (C. auris), an emerging fungal pathogen. These infections are associated with readmission to acute care hospitals and cost billions in additional health care costs per year. The frequency of inter-facility transfers, high acuity and use of invasive devices (e.g. urinary catheters and central venous catheters), as well as the overutilization of antibiotics has resulted in an extremely high MDRO prevalence in this population.

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Impact of foodborne illness in a healthcare setting

Posted by James Clayton on Oct 1, 2019 2:18:09 PM

Impact of Foodborne Illness in a Healthcare Setting

Despite well-established safe food handling practices, foodborne illness  remains a significant source of morbidity and mortality in the United States1 and represents a strain on the healthcare system. Hospitalized patients are particularly susceptible to foodborne illness with an increased risk of severe complications. Vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, young children, elderly people and people with a weakened immune system as a result of illness, treatment or medication2, have been estimated to comprise around 20% of this population3. With around 9.4 million episodes each year, foodborne illness represents a strain on the healthcare system. An estimated 56,000 people are hospitalized each year due to foodborne illness 4. A high number of patients hospitalized with foodborne illness may represent an epidemiological risk in the healthcare setting due to cross contamination of environmental surfaces and medical devices and/or the unwashed hands of healthcare workers.

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A Unique Perspective on National Compliance Rates to the Central-Line Bundle

Posted by Amanda Thornton, CIC, RN, MSN on Sep 6, 2019 10:02:40 AM

A Unique Perspective on National Compliance Rates to the Central Line Bundle

Every Infection Preventionist should know what The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) bundle checklist is to prevent CLABSIs (1):

  1. Follow proper insertion practices
  2. Comply with hand hygiene requirements
  3. Daily CHG bathing for patients over 2 months of age
  4. Scrub the hub with friction immediately prior to each use using an appropriate antiseptic
  5. Use only sterile devices to access lines
  6. Immediately replace dressings that are wet, soiled or dislodged
  7. Perform routine dressing changes with aseptic technique using clean or sterile gloves
  8. Change administration sets for continuous infusions no more frequently than every 4 days, but at least every 7 days
  9. Perform daily audits to see if a central line is still needed, and promptly remove unnecessary lines
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Clostridium difficile: Hiding in Plain Sight?

Posted by Frances (Fran) K. Canty, MA, BSN, RN, VA-BC™ on Aug 7, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Clostridium difficile - Hiding in Plain Sight?

Healthcare workers are hypersensitive to the dreaded words, Clostridium difficile (C. diff.). Like a category 5 hurricane, its impact can be devastating in the healthcare environment. With a steadily rising global incidence of infection and subsequent increase in mortality, C. diff. is recognized as one of the most important pathogens in hospital and community healthcare settings. [1, 2].

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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, CIC, 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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