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Select Month: October 2013

The Value of an Infectious Diseases Specialist

Categories: Antimicrobial Resistance, Clostridium difficile, Healthcare-associated infections

Steven Schmitt, MD, FIDSA

Steven Schmitt, MD, FIDSA

Guest Author – Steven Schmitt, MD, FIDSA
Chair of the Infectious Diseases Society America’s Clinical Affairs Committee and infectious diseases physician at Cleveland Clinic

We’re all well aware that infection is a major problem among hospitalized patients, sometimes arriving with infection as a reason for admission and sometimes developing infection in the hospital.  In either case, infection is among the top causes of death in the hospital and hospital-acquired infections affect one in 20 patients. Many of these infections are resistant to antibiotics, making them extremely difficult to treat. So what is the answer?  Get patients the type of care they deserve – in this case, treatment provided by physicians who are experts in infectious diseases.  A recent study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases– based on Medicare data from nearly 130,000 hospitalized patient cases – provides strong evidence that infectious diseases expertise is invaluable. 

To quantify the value of ID physicians, we studied the records of patients who had at least one of 11 common types of infections, including Clostridium difficile, which the CDC recently named as one of the top three urgent threats in its landmark antibiotic resistance report.  Other infections included: bacteremia, central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), bacterial endocarditis, HIV/opportunistic infections, meningitis, osteomyelitis, prosthetic joint infections, septic arthritis, septic shock and vascular device infections. Matching patient characteristics, we compared the outcomes of those who had seen an ID physician and those who had not. 

Program to Prevent Infections in Cancer Patients Hits Home

Categories: Healthcare-associated infections, Patients

Lisa Splitlog

Lisa Splitlog

Guest Author – Lisa Splitlog  
Director, CDC Value Communications
CDC Foundation

As a CDC Foundation staff member, I’m always proud to share with my family and friends how we help advance the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) lifesaving work through public-private partnerships that help protect our nation’s health security and contribute to a healthy economy. It’s exciting and fulfilling to work for an organization that makes a difference in the lives of so many.

Over the last few months, though, one of our partnerships with Amgen focused on preventing infections in cancer patients has really hit home for me. I was recently diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer and am currently undergoing eight rounds of chemotherapy, which will be followed by surgery and radiation. It has been an overwhelming diagnosis that has impacted virtually every area of my life—from the wig I wear to cover my bald head to the fatigue and loss of appetite that I typically experience after each round of chemo. Someone compared chemo to “being hit by a bus,” and that’s exactly what it feels like.

APIC promotes “Infection Prevention and You”

Categories: HAI Guidelines, Healthcare-associated infections

Infection Prevention and You banner

Guest Author – Vicki G. Allen, MSN, RN, CIC
Manager of the Infection Prevention and Control Department
CaroMont Regional Medical Center

This year APIC is marking International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), October 20-26, by launching a multiyear campaign themed "Infection Prevention and You.” The focus is to engage everyone — patients, families, and healthcare personnel — in infection prevention, as well as to promote a voice and a partnership toward receiving quality and safe patient care.

APIC’s new Infection Prevention and You APIC’s new “Infection Prevention and You” website will be continually updated and revised to reflect the most current information. For example, we recently added a page on preventing infection in the locker room. One section of the website is geared to patients and families, and the other is geared to healthcare personnel who are not necessarily infection preventionists. The resources are aimed at helping everyone understand their role in infection prevention and patient safety. The website includes tips and tools including a new infographic [PDF – 1.25 MB] that depicts how patients and families [PDF – 554 KB] can play an active role, what healthcare-associated infections [PDF – 491 KB] are, and what infection preventionists do to keep patients safe.

 
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