Preventing hospital-associated infections (HAI) are a top priority for hospital infection control departments. In an effort to ensure patient safety, national and international agencies have developed policies and guidelines (based off research evidence) that hospitals follow to reduce HAI. Three of these agencies include Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), The Leapfrog Group, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:
1) "To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System" (source: APIC and the Insistute of Medicine)
"Since the early 1990′s there has been a proliferation of healthcare quality report cards focusing on outcomes and processes of healthcare. Consumer demand for public reporting of healthcare quality data has increased since the 1999, [in which the Institute of Medicine] reported 98,000 deaths in US hospitals per year and 29 billion dollars spent per year associated with medical error.
"Private sector purchasers of healthcare have joined forces to promote initiatives to increase the quality of healthcare. An example is the Business Roundtable, an association of Chief Executive Officers of leading U.S. corporations that founded the Leapfrog Group. [The organization] is composed of more than 150 public and private organizations that provide healthcare benefits. The Leapfrog Group works with medical experts throughout the U.S. to identify problems and propose solutions that it believes will improve hospital systems."
3) HHS Action Plan to Prevention HAI (source: HHS)
"The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections” (Plan) represents a culmination of several months of research, deliberation, and public comment to identify the key actions needed to achieve and sustain progress in protecting patients from the transmission of serious, and in some cases, deadly infections."
The CDC has released a research report on hospital associated factors for severe Clostridium difficile -associated Disease (CDAD). I found it interesting, especially the demographic trending, as it pertains to what I am doing currently for my Public Health Master’s research report.
The following data was provided by the CDC:
Identifying patients who are at high risk for severe Clostridium difficile –associated disease (CDAD) early in the course of their infection may help clinicians improve outcomes. Therefore, we compared clinical features associated with severe versus nonsevere CDAD by retrospectively reviewing records of hospitalized patients whose fecal assays were positive for C. difficile toxin. Of 336 patients, 12.2% had severe disease and 10.1% died from all causes. Regression modeling showed the following to be significantly associated with severe CDAD (p< 0.05): age >70 years (odds ratio [OR] 3.35), maximum leukocyte count >20,000 cells/mL (OR 2.77), minimum albumin level <2.5 g/dL (OR 3.44), maximum creatinine level >2 mg/dL (OR 2.47), small bowel obstruction or ileus (OR 3.06), and computed tomography scan showing colorectal inflammation (OR 13.54). These clinical and laboratory markers for severe disease may be useful for identifying patients at risk for serious outcomes or death.
"Our neighborhoods can be good or bad for our health, according to a number of studies that have drawn parallels between the environment and topics such as obesity and alcohol use ."
"You have always been told about the health risks you take once you choose fast food dishes over home-made food. And still you cannot help it when you see so many fast food restaurants around you. What you should know is that an increased number of restaurants in your neighborhood is directly proportional with the number of strokes people suffer, at least this is the conclusion of a new study presented Thursday at the International Stroke Conference in San Diego."
3) Fast Food Proximity Ups Stroke Risk (Press TV)
"A new study has revealed that residing in neighborhoods packed with fast food restaurants could increase your risk for stroke by 13 percent."
The articles I am posting are related to the growing trends of Clostridium difficile – a hosptial bug known to cause diarrhea – and an effective intervention: