July 2016 Issue of Becker's Infection Control and Clinical Quality


July issue

On the Cover


100 Patient Safety Benchmarks | 2016
Becker’s Infection Control & Clinical Quality has compiled a list of 100 patient safety benchmarks from various sources for hospital comparison. Click here to continue >>

Administrator talking with doctor

Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause of Death in the US
The CDC lists chronic respiratory diseases as the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer, but researchers from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins beg to differ. They analyzed data from an eight-year period and found medical errors are the true third leading cause of death in the U.S. Click here to continue >>

Doctor measuring blood pressure

Spotlight on Zika
A 10-story spread on the mosquito-borne virus, including its link to birth defects, how to protect healthcare workers from transmission during labor and delivery and a Q&A with an infectious disease expert in Miami. 


The Electronic Hand Hygiene Compliance System You Can Trust to Drive Clinical Outcomes
Healthcare leaders are under pressure to drive quality improvement, eliminate hospital-acquired conditions to avoid penalties and increase economic efficiencies. Click here to continue >>


Preventable Medical Errors Are on the Decline — 4 Possible Reasons Why
An opinion piece published in JAMA in June suggests hospitals have been making significant progress in reducing harm over the last few years and highlights factors contributing to the progress. Click here to continue >>

Most Readmissions Aren’t Linked to Suboptimal Care, Study Finds
A large number of 30-day readmissions are not caused by poor-quality care but are instead related to mental health, substance abuse or homelessness, according to a study published in JAMA Surgery. Click here to continue >>

74% of Physicians, Health Plan Executives Say Quality Measures Are Too Complex
A new physician and health plan executive survey from Quest Diagnostics and Inovalon shows both parties believe there are barriers to the healthcare industry's adoption of value-based care, including overly complex quality measures. Click here to continue >>

CMS Officials to Hospitals: Stop Misusing HCAHPS Measures
In an opinion piece in JAMA, three officials from CMS urged hospital leaders to stop disaggregating measures from HCAHPS for internal use. Click here to continue >>

CMS Overall Star Ratings Have ‘Several Shortcomings,’ Analysis Finds
CMS' Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings were supposed to be released in April, but the agency delayed the launch until July after many stakeholders expressed concern with the program. Click here to continue >>

US News Changes Quality Measurements for Upcoming Hospital Rankings: 5 Things to Know
The 2016-17 U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals rankings, scheduled to be published in August, will place less emphasis on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Patient Safety Indicators when assessing hospitals for quality. Click here to continue >>


CDC Confirms Zika Causes Microcephaly
In April, the CDC officially announced that the Zika virus causes microcephaly and other fetal brain defects. Click here to continue >>

Protecting Health Workers From Zika Transmission During Labor: 5 Things to Know
Because large amounts of patient bodily fluid are present during labor and delivery, the CDC has urged healthcare workers aiding in labor and delivery to be extra vigilant in following infection control measures to protect themselves from possible Zika virus transmission. Click here to continue >>

6 Cases of Zika-Related Birth Defects Reported in US
In the U.S. as of June 9, three infants have been born with Zika-related birth defects and three pregnancies were lost due to miscarriages or abortions incited by birth defects linked to Zika, according to information reported by the CDC on Thursday. Click here to continue >>

CDC Prepared to Deploy Rapid Response Teams When Zika Becomes Transmitted Locally in US
Federal health officials at the CDC plan to send a rapid-response team to any mainland community and communities in Hawaii that report local transmission of the Zika virus, according to the Miami Herald. Click here to continue >>

Study Finds Zika Virus May Affect Infants Without Microcephaly
As the Zika virus continues to spread, popping up across North America and other parts of the globe, clinicians have looked for tell-tale signs that infants may be affected by the virus, which can cause significant neurological damage and birth defects in babies born to Zika-positive mothers. Click here to continue >>

Zika May Be Transmittable Through Oral Sex
A group of French scientists have raised the possibility that Zika could be transmittable through oral sex and maybe even deep kissing, according to a recent letter to the editor detailing the account of a likely case of Zika transmission through sexual contact published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Click here to continue >>

Accidental Zika Infection at Pittsburgh Lab
A lab worker from the University of Pittsburgh accidentally stuck herself with a needle while working with the Zika virus, resulting in what appears to be the first known Zika infection occurring in a laboratory, according to The New York Times. Click here to continue >>

Boston Hospitals Report Uptick in Patients Arriving With Zika Concerns
While the true impact the Zika virus will have on U.S. citizens remains to be seen, hospitals are reporting pregnant mothers concerned about their viral status and what they can do to prepare themselves in the event of Zika are increasingly reaching out, according to a report from The Boston Herald. Click here to continue >>

Zika Q&A: Miami Infectious Disease Expert Shares Thoughts on the Virus
The CDC is closely monitoring six states for local Zika transmission, including Florida. Click here to continue >>

WHO Doubles Suggested Abstinence Period After Traveling to Active Zika Zones
The World Organization has upped the recommended number of weeks people should follow safe sex practices or abstain from sex after returning from active Zika areas from four to eight, according to Reuters Health. Click here to continue >>


Elizabethkingia Outbreak Update: 7 Questions With the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
When news of the Elizabethkingia outbreak first hit in March, it was described by media outlets as a mysterious bloodstream infection. Click here to continue >>

Ditch the Flowers and Balloons: Why Hospitals Want Families to Leave Gifts at Home
Many hospitals are modifying their visiting polices to restrict get-well items gifted to patients, according to the Wall Street Journal. Click here to continue >>

Researchers Identify Effective New MRSA Decolonization Protocol
Although decolonization is an important part of managing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, the process takes longer than the average hospital length of stay. Click here to continue >>

Gloves Transfer Bacteria Between Hospital Surfaces, Study Finds
Although healthcare workers use gloves to protect both patients and themselves from bacterial contamination, new research suggests gloves themselves may play a significant role in transferring bugs between hospital surfaces. Click here to continue >>

Body-Worn Hand Hygiene System Increases Hand Decontamination
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., and the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worchester tested a novel body-worn hand hygiene system in a new study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. Click here to continue >>

Hawthorne Effect Influences Hand Hygiene Rates, New Study Shows
When healthcare professionals are aware they’re being observed, they’re significantly more likely to comply with hand hygiene guidelines, according to a study presented at the 43rd Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology held in Charlotte, N.C. Click here to continue >>

Posting Gross Pictures of Bacteria at Hand-Washing Stations Increases Compliance
It turns out disgust is a pretty good motivator for driving compliance with hand-washing regulations in clinical settings. Click here to continue >>

Where is the Sink? Poor Location Contributes to Low Hand Hygiene Compliance
Improving the location of sinks may increase hand hygiene compliance following contact with patients with Clostridium difficile infection, according to a study published in BMC Infectious Diseases. Click here to continue >>

Which Factor is Associated With Hand Hygiene Compliance —Age or Physician Specialty? 
Five researchers have suggested physician specialty is more closely related to hand hygiene compliance rates than a physician’s age. Click here to continue >>

Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause of Death in the US
The CDC lists chronic respiratory diseases as the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer, but researchers from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins beg to differ. Click here to continue >>

Here Are the Conditions That Kill Most Americans, According to the CDC
The CDC has reviewed all death certificates filed in the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in 2014 to determine the most common causes of death for Americans. Click here to continue >>

CDC Warns US Hospitals of Emerging, Deadly Yeast Infection: 7 Things to Know
The CDC has issued a clinical alert to healthcare facilities in the U.S. about an emerging, multidrug-resistant yeast called Candida auris that is causing invasive, highly deadly infections across the world. Click here to continue >>

Central Line Infection Prevention Bundle Reduces CLABSIs Among Newborns
Australian researchers demonstrated a central line infection prevention bundle could reduce the number of central venous catheters inserted and the number of central line-associated bloodstream infections in babies in a new study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. Click here to continue >>

Hospital Worker Cellphones Are Hotbeds for Fungus, Study Finds
The Candida fungus was found on the majority of cellphones belonging to employees at a hospital in Poland, according to research published in BMC Infectious Diseases. Click here to continue >>

IDSA Updates Guidance for Invasive Mold Infections: 5 Things to Know
The Infectious Diseases Society of America recently released new guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of aspergillosis, an invasive, potentially deadly fungal infection. Click here to continue >>

Hospitals Need to Step Up Cellphone Cleaning Protocol, Study Finds
A study out of the University Hospital of Saint-Etienne in France shows mobile devices used by hospital workers harbor viral RNA, and a large chunk of healthcare workers don’t wash their hands before or after using their mobile devices. Click here to continue >>

FDA, CDC Warn Hospitals of Multistate Burkholderia Bacteria Outbreak
The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are sounding the alarm on Burkholderia cepacia, bacteria causing infections primarily in ventilated patients without cystic fibrosis who are being treated in intensive care units. Click here to continue >>

20% of Hospitals Don’t Have a Policy to Handle ‘Never Events’
Hospitals that have a policy to follow if or when a “never event” occurs demonstrate both accountability to their patients and dedication to continuous improvement. Click here to continue >>

National Collaboration Shows Promise for CAUTI Reduction
A concerted effort across 603 hospitals showed promise in reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections among patients, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in June. Click here to continue >>


Clostridium difficile: Is PCR Too Sensitive?
Infection with the pathogen Clostridium difficile is a significant source of healthcare-associated infections and estimated to account for 12 percent of all HAIs in the U.S. Click here to continue >>


CMS’ Proposed Rule for Hospitals: Reduce Antibiotic Use or Exit Medicare
CMS released a proposed rule change to its Conditions of Participation June 13 which would, among other changes, require hospitals to implement antibiotic stewardship programs to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Click here to continue >>

Antibiotic Stewardship Programs at VA Facilities: 6 Things to Know
Antibiotic stewardship program implementation varies significantly across Veterans Affairs facilities in the U.S., but a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology in May shows having a clinician with formal infectious diseases training may help. Click here to continue >>

NQF, CDC Release Practical Antibiotic Stewardship Playbook: 6 Things to Know 
The National Quality Forum, the CDC and Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America led a team of experts to create a guide for hospitals of all sizes on how to implement an antibiotic stewardship program, and the guide, “Antibiotic Stewardship in Acute Care: A Practical Playbook” was released in May. Click here to continue >>

Study: Antibiotic Stewardship Programs Linked to Lower Antibiotic Use, Fewer Infections
Hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs may lower the use of antibiotics by almost 20 percent and are linked to a drop in infection rates, a new study suggests. Click here to continue >>

Untreatable Superbug Makes Its Way to US for First Time: 6 Things to Know
A strain of E. coli resistant to colistin — the antibiotic of last resort — was identified for the first time in the U.S. in April, marking “the emergence of a truly pan-drug resistant bacteria,” according to a study published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in May. Click here to continue >>

Colistin-Resistant E. coli is Carried by Seagulls, Researchers Suggest
In May, the colistin-resistant gene mcr-1 was identified in a woman being treated at a military clinic in Pennsylvania, marking the first time the “super” superbug was identified in the U.S. New research suggests one possible carrier of the E. coli strain — seagulls. Click here to continue >>

Pond-Dwelling Virus May Combat Antibiotic Resistance
Researchers from New Haven, Conn.-based Yale University recently discovered that a virus called a bacteriophage found in a Connecticut pond may be used to fight antibiotic resistance. Click here to continue >>

With New Incentives, Pharma Ramping Up Antibiotic Development
After decades of largely ignoring the antibiotics business, new research incentives from national governments are driving drugmakers to renew efforts to create new infection-fighting medicines, according to Bloomberg. Click here to continue >>

4 Takeaways From CDC Health Alert on Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs
After a strain of E. coli resistant to last resort antibiotics was identified in the U.S., the CDC released a health alert reiterating the importance of measures to prevent the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Click here to continue >>

It May be Safe for Physicians to Prescribe Fewer Antibiotics, Researchers Say
Recent research has painted a gloomy portrait of the state of antibiotics: Clinicians prescribe them too often and patients often don’t follow the course of treatment properly. Click here to continue >>


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