March 2017 Issue of Becker's Infection Control and Clinical Quality

March 2017 Issue of Becker's Infection Control and Clinical Quality


On the Cover


Zero Readmission Penalties and a 5-Star Rating: What's Behind EvergreenHealth Medical Center's Success?
Under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, CMS has cut funding to hospitals with higher-than-expected rates of readmissions for the last five years. Click here to continue >>


New Sepsis Treatment Guidelines: 5 Things to Know
The Surviving Sepsis Guidelines were first published in 2004, with updates issued in 2008 and 2012. Click here to continue >>


13 Hospitals Warning Patients of Heater-Cooler Infection Risks
In October 2016, the CDC warned hospitals that a device manufactured by LivaNova — the Stöckert 3T heatercooler device — was spreading bacterial infections to patients. Click here to continue >>


How Combining Traditional Hand Hygiene Initiatives With High-Tech Solutions Can Improve Compliance
Nearly 800 hospitals received word in December they would face Medicare reimbursement cuts in fiscal year 2017 because of high infection rates under the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program — but Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, Ill., hasn’t been penalized under the HAC Reduction Program since the program started in 2015. Click here to continue >>

Bedside Hand Hygiene Improves When Extra Healthcare Workers Are Present
A study published in The Journal of Hospital Infection in February examined factors affecting hand hygiene compliance before entering the patient room and at the bedside. Click here to continue >>

Rethinking Hand Hygiene: 5 Things to Know About the Little-Known World of Skin Microbiota
While the debate between hand dryers and paper towels in terms of superior hand-washing technique has inspired a public relations war with multiple industry-funded studies, the question at its core is deeply flawed because it is predicated upon the notion that bacteria is bad. Click here to continue >>

Peer Pressure, Fear of the Flu Can Boost Hand Hygiene: 6 Survey Findings
When others are present, people are more likely to wash their hands in a public restroom, according to the annual Healthy Hand Washing survey conducted by the Bradley Corporation. Click here to continue >>


How to ‘Engineer’ for Patient Safety: 5 Questions With CHI CMO Dr. Robert Weil
When it comes to patient safety, everyone in the health system plays a part — whether one is a clinician, administrator or another staff worker. Click here to continue >>

Mandatory Flu Shot Policies May Be Based on Flawed Research, Study Suggests
While the CDC urges everyone to get a flu shot, some hospitals take it a step further and mandate employees to get a flu shot or face possible termination. Click here to continue >>

Patient Safety Efforts Saved Almost 70k Lives in 2016
Safety efforts implemented at 3,526 hospitals and open data pledges made by 70 healthcare technology companies saved the lives of 69,519 people in 2016, according to the Patient Safety Movement Foundation. Click here to continue >>

Environmental Cleaning Approaches for Reducing MRSA Transmission: 5 Study Insights
A study published in BMC Infectious Diseases in January examines the efficacy of different approaches for cleaning environmental surfaces to prevent contact transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and other hospital-acquired infections. Click here to continue >>

Accepted Endoscope Reprocessing Regimens Aren’t Always Effective, Study Shows
Existing endoscope reprocessing techniques are not consistently effective, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection ControlClick here to continue >>

How Far Do Germs Travel After a Sneeze? It’s Farther Than You Think
Sneezes abound during cold and flu season, and those sneezes are vehicles for germs — in some cases, sneezes can spread germs up to 26 feet away, according to research in the New England Journal of MedicineClick here to continue >>

Fujifilm to Pull 4 Older Duodenoscope Models From Use
Fujifilm Medical Systems plans to remove four legacy duodenoscope models from clinical use “based on the limited number currently in use,” according to a Food and Drug Administration safety alert issued Jan. 13. Click here to continue >>

Sepsis Causes More Readmissions Than COPD, Heart Failure, Heart Attack and Pneumonia
Sepsis — a complication caused by the body’s immune response to life-threatening infections — accounts for more readmissions than any of the four conditions CMS tracks for reimbursement purposes, according to a research letter published in JAMA in January. Click here to continue >>

Experts Reveal New Information on Heater-Cooler Related Infections: 7 Things to Know
At the Society of Thoracic Surgeons 53rd Annual Meeting in January, cardiothoracic surgeons and experts in perfusion and infectious diseases presented “Heater-Cooler-Inducted Infections: Practices, Protocols and Mitigation Strategies,” which contained the most up-to-date information available. Click here to continue >>

FDA: Serious Allergic Reactions Associated With Chlorhexidine Gluconate
The FDA issued a safety announcement Feb. 2 regarding serious allergic reactions reported with the use of skin antiseptic products containing chlorhexidine gluconate. These reactions are rare, but reports have increased over the last few years. Click here to continue >>

CDC Revises Guidance on Controlling C. auris in Hospitals
Candida auris is an emerging, multidrug-resistant yeast that is poised to spread quickly through healthcare settings if not contained. Click here to continue >>

10k Patients Die Each Year Within 7 Days of Leaving a Hospital ER, Study Finds
More than 10,000 Medicare patients die each year within a week of leaving a hospital emergency room, according to a study published in The BMJ, and typically they were released from a rural hospital or a hospital with low inpatient admission rates. Click here to continue >>

11 Key Infectious Disease Terms to Know
As international travel, climate change and ecological degradation fuel the global spread of infectious disease, having a firm grasp on epidemiological nomenclature is becoming increasingly important. Click here to continue >>

CDC: 13 People Affected by Rare Rat Virus Outbreak
As of Feb. 16, 13 people in eight states had contracted the Seoul virus, a virus carried by wild and domestic rats, according to a CDC update on the outbreak. Click here to continue >>

4 Things to Know About the Infection Prevention Profession
Infection preventionists play a critically important role in healthcare, but their profession is somewhat of a mystery to most. Click here to continue >>

Rude Surgeons May Also Be Most Hazardous: 5 Study Findings to Know
Patients seeing surgeons who elicit the greatest number of patient complaints are 14 percent more likely to experience complications within 30 days of a procedure than patients who see surgeons widely perceived as respectful, according to new research from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. Click here to continue >>

Study: Medicare Patients Treated by Foreign-Educated Physicians Are More Likely to Survive
Medicare patients admitted to U.S. hospitals had lower mortality when cared for by foreign-educated physicians than by graduates of U.S. medical schools, according to a study published in the journal BMJClick here to continue >>


Poor Diagnosis of Fungal Infections Fuels Antibiotic Resistance
Improper diagnosis of fungal infections around the world results in the over-prescription of antibiotics, thereby exacerbating the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance, according to a research paper published in January in the CDC’s journal Emerging Infectious DiseaseClick here to continue >>

Support for Prescribers Reduces Unnecessary Antibiotic Use
Hospitals across the globe have taken varied approaches to antibiotic stewardship in efforts to combat the growth of antibiotic resistance. A Cochrane Review found a number of interventions are effective at reducing unnecessary antibiotic use. Click here to continue >>

E. coli Resistant to Last Resort Antibiotic Found in California for First Time
Los Angeles County has identified an E. coli strain with the mcr-1 gene, which makes it resistant to colistin — known as the antibiotic of last resort — for the first time the state of California, according to a January health alert from the county public health department. Click here to continue >>

VA Stewardship Program Reduces Antibiotic Use, C. diff Infections, Study Shows
The Veterans Health Administration’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative led to a 12 percent decrease in overall antibiotic use and reduced readmissions, mortality and Clostridium difficile infections, according to a study in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. Click here to continue >>

E. coli Can Develop Antibiotic Resistance in Just Days, Researchers Find
Antibiotics can stimulate rapid bacterial mutations causing drug resistance in just days, according to a research article published in January in Nature Ecology & EvolutionClick here to continue >>

New Antibiotic Combinations Prove Effective Against E. coli
A team of biologists from UCLA found two combinations of antibiotics that were extremely successful in reducing growth of E. coli bacteria, according to UCLA. Click here to continue >>

Routinely Prescribed Antibiotic May Not Be Best Severe C. diff Treatment
Switching from using metronidazole to vancomycin as the initial treatment for severe Clostridium difficile infections could have a significant effect on mortality rates, according to a study published in JAMA Internal MedicineClick here to continue >>

Antibiotics Primary Driver for Rise in C. diff Infections, Study Finds
Researchers determined antibiotic misuse — not poorly cleaned hospitals — was the primary driver in surging rates of Clostridium difficile across the U.K.’s publicly funded healthcare system, according to a study published in January in The Lancet Infectious DiseasesClick here to continue >>

When Travelers Use Antibiotics Abroad, Drug-Resistant Superbugs Can Hitchhike Home
Travelers to areas like Latin America, Africa and South and Southeast Asia often carry antibiotics in case of infection, but treating diarrhea with those antibiotics can leave travelers at great risk of contracting extended spectrum beta-lactamases, or ESBL, bacteria. Click here to continue >>

Nevada Woman Dies of Superbug Resistant to All 26 Available Antibiotics
A woman in Reno, Nev., died of a bacterial infection resistant to all antibiotics available in the U.S. in early September 2016. Click here to continue >>

2 Techniques to Reduce Antibiotic Resistance Prove Ineffective in New Study
Two methods used to theoretically hinder the evolution of antibiotic resistance proved ineffective in a study published in January in the journal of Molecular Biology and EvolutionClick here to continue >>


CMS Changed Its Overall Star Rating Formula — Here’s What’s New
CMS updated its Hospital Compare database in December, which included an update to its Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating program. Click here to continue >>

5 Things to Know About Healthgrades’ 2017 Distinguished Hospital Awards
Healthgrades — a comprehensive online resource for information about physicians and hospitals — announced the 258 recipients of its Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence for 2017 in January. Click here to continue >>

Where Are CMS’ New Overall 5-Star Hospitals?
When CMS updated the formula used in its Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating program in December, the number of hospitals that received the highest possible overall rating fell from 112 in October to 83 in December. Click here to continue >>

Johns Hopkins Awarded Millions to Share Quality Methods With 750 Hospitals
The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality in Baltimore has been awarded a federal contract potentially worth $16 million to educate providers at 750 hospitals across the nation on enhanced recovery after surgery protocols. Click here to continue >>

NQF Publishes Guide to Reduce Variation in Quality Measures
An analysis commissioned by the National Quality Forum identified 1,367 quality measures used by 48 state and regional programs — but only 509 of them were distinct. Click here to continue >>

50 Hospitals With Lowest Pneumonia Mortality
The following is a list of hospitals with the lowest 30-day mortality rates from pneumonia, according to data from CMS. Click here to continue >>

Quality Improvement Initiative Lowers C-Section Rates by 10%+ at Deaconess Medical Center
A long-term, multi-strategy quality improvement initiative resulted in a significant reduction in the number of births by cesarean section at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, according to a study published in The Joint Commission Journal on Patient SafetyClick here to continue >>

CDC: 6 Tactics to Help Reduce Health Disparities Among Rural Patients
Five leading causes of death disproportionately kill rural Americans at higher rates than their urban counterparts, according to research from the CDC. Click here to continue >>


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