Improving Patient Care
The Patient Safety Atlas
In March of 2016, in an effort to prevent healthcare associated infections (HAIs), the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) issued a request for all healthcare providers and healthcare facilities to make three critical efforts to further this cause. The CDC also launched the online Patient Safety Atlas in an effort to control the rising threat of resistant bacterial infections.
The following guidelines are succinct and offer very clear advice:
1) Prevent infections related to surgery or placement of a catheter.
2) Prevent spread of bacteria from spreading between patients.
3) Improve antibiotic use.
There are six antibiotic resistant bacteria that are particularly dangerous and are considered urgent or serious threats by the CDC. They are:
- MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
- CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae)
- ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae (extended-spectrum ß-lactamases)
- VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci)
- Multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas
- Multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter
Infections caused by these organisms could lead to sepsis or even death. C. difficile infections are the most common HAI found in hospitals, and in many cases, lead to death. However, it is not antibiotic resistant like the others listed above.
Surgery and Catheters: The recommendation for preventing infections from catheters and after surgery include using catheters only when needed, following recommendations for safer surgery and catheter insertion and care, and removing catheters from patients as soon as they are no longer needed.
Patient Isolation: For preventing C.diffficile, it is recommended that healthcare providers are consistent and follow these actions for every patient without exception. When it is appropriate, patients should be isolated, and providers should know antibiotic resistance patterns in their facility and area. In order to prevent dangerous bacteria from spreading, it is recommended that hand hygiene be improved and that gloves, gowns, and dedicated equipment be used for patients who have antibiotic resistant infections.
Antibiotic Use: Finally, to improve antibiotic use, it is recommended that cultures be obtained and antibiotics started promptly and reassessed 24 to 48 hours later, especially in cases of sepsis. Cultures should be used to reassess the need for antibiotics and to stop treatment as soon as they are no longer needed. Antibiotics should be used appropriately according to the type of infection and in the proper dosage, frequency, and duration.
The Patient Safety Atlas: A patient safety atlas (PSA) was created by the CDC and is a public portal that allows heathcare providers and the greater public to visualize and download data that is based on four years of surveillance (2011-2014) by 4,403 healthcare facilities. These include general acute care hospitals (n=3,676), long term acute care hospitals (n=506), and free-standing inpatient rehabilitation hospitals (n=221).
The PSA from the CDC will show the incidence of various HAIs. The above map shows CRE incidence with the darker colors showing greater prevalence.
Users can access and visualize national, regional, and state-level antibiotic resistance data from device and procedure related HAIs commonly reported to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN):
- Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI)
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
- Surgical site infections (SSI)
There are thirty-one resistant phenotypes reported which include MRSA and CREs. The purpose of this atlas is for both educational purposes and to be used as a tool for developing strategies to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistance in healthcare facilities across the country. For further information and to access the atlas, please visit this website
. Be sure to click on the green “accept” button.
by Marcus Zuzow
R&D Technician at Hardy Diagnostics
* * *
Can you detect a variety of food pathogens in less than 10 hours?
Now you can with the new Crystal Diagnostics XPress.
This highly simplified method, using liquid crystals, will revolutionize the way you detect food pathogens, such as E. coli O157, Salmonella, Listeria, and STEC.
a short video to learn more…
the web page for details.
us for a demo and price quote.
Could you be missing important anaerobes? Hardy offers pre-reduced culture media in oxygen impermeable bags that are gassed with nitrogen and contain an oxygen scavenger and desiccant.
Learn more about anaeroGRO and the many choices of set-up packs.
a short video explaining the features and benefits of anaeroGRO.
our complete catalog of supplies for anaerobes.
Try a sample
pack of anaeroGRO and see how to get better growth of anaerobes.
Anaerobic tubes with Hungate stoppers
are available too!
Online Ordering Made Easy!
Watch a short video
to learn how easy it is
to order from Hardy on-line!
Pick. Click. You’re Done!
* * *
Virchow: A Virtual Genius
In the 19th century, Rudolph Virchow was instrumental in departing from many old methods and continually pushed for a more scientific approach to determining causes, effects, and trends of diseases.
Although Virchow had many titles and achievements, he is most well-known for his work in shaping modern day public health and is known as the “the father of modern pathology.”
During his early life, Rudolph showed great intelligence at a young age and was able to learn nine languages fluently. He studied at the Friedrich Wilhelms Institute in Berlin, where he defended his thesis on corneal manifestations of rheumatic disease, earning him his medical degree. Due to his small stature, he acquired the nickname “Der kleine Doktor” (the little doctor). After graduating, Rudolf then proceeded to further his career in pathology. In 1845, he published a scientific paper describing leukemia to the world for the first time, and in 1847, he was given the academic position of privadozent at Charité. Other accomplishments of his include discovering the correlation between cancerous and normal cells, developing modern autopsy procedures, and introducing the use of hair analysis in criminal investigations. In 1869, Virchow founded the German Society for Physical Anthropology, Ethnology, and Prehistory.
Illustrations of cells fromVirchow’s Archiv.
Perhaps Virchow’s greatest accomplishment was determining that “disease doesn’t affect whole organisms and can be isolated to specific cells or groups of cells.” Not only was this a revolutionary idea at the time, it stimulated progress in how physicians treated and diagnosed disease. As a result, diseases became more clearly defined, rather than using obscure labels like “Falling Sickness” or “Winter Fever.”
Perhaps ahead of his time, Virchow advocated a more holistic approach to medicine. Not fully subscribing to Pasteur and Koch’s Germ Theory of disease, Virchow postulated that germs were only using infected organs as habitats, but they were not the cause. He once stated, “If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat: diseased tissue, rather than being the cause of diseased tissue.”
A prolific writer, his scientific writings alone exceeded 2,000 in number. Among his books, Cellular Pathology published in 1858 is regarded as the root of modern pathology. This work also popularized the third dictum in cell theory: Omnis cellula e cellula (“All cells come from cells”).
Virchow was the first to precisely describe and give names of diseases such as leukemia
, and thrombosis
. He coined scientific terms such as, terchromatin, agenesis, parenchyma, osteoid, amyloid degeneration, and spina bifida.
His description of the transmission cycle of the roundworm
, established the importance of meat inspection, which was started in Berlin. He developed the first systematic method of autopsy involving surgery of all body parts and microscopic examination. A number of medical terms are named after him, including Virchow’s node, Virchow-Robin spaces, Virchow-Seckel syndrome, and Virchow’s triad. He was the first to use hair analysis in criminal investigations and recognized its limitations. His laborious analyses of the hair, skin, skull type, and eye color of over seven million school children led him to criticize the Aryan Race concept as a myth.
Like so many new ideas in the field of science, Virchow’s ideas were not immediately accepted. As cell biology and microbiology were somewhat new topics at the time, claims relating diseases to the two disciplines were often discounted. Virchow sought to “think microscopically” and approach health and disease at a deeper level. Using empirical evidence, he was able to back many of his claims and discount old world ideas.
Although he was mainly a pathologist, Rudolf was well studied and accomplished in other fields including anthropology. His scientific knowledge led him to be very influential with political policy. Even though he considered himself an agnostic, he was an extreme anti-evolutionist and he led many campaigns against Darwin, labeling him as an “ignoramus.” He openly discredited the Neanderthal Man as merely an arthritic and feeble human.
Virchow was a strong proponent against social Darwinism, claiming that it was racist and hazardous for society. A driving philosophy of his life was that disease is a social problem, which can be attributed to poverty and unhygienic practices. These two conditions led to a medical revolution to fight political injustice.
Although some of Virchow’s views could be seen as radical, his studies and ideas were revolutionary in propelling modern medicine out of medieval times. His attention to detail and careful investigation of empirical evidence led him to be known as one of the founders of modern medicine.
by Trevor Thorsen
Technical Support Specialist at Hardy Diagnostics
Hardy offers a complete line of
contact plates for your surface monitoring.
The Tap-Tight feature assures that
the lids will stay securely in place!
Frog Parking Only!
All others will be toad.
Seven days without exercise
* When Peter Pan punches, they Neverland.
* Atheists don’t solve exponential equations because they don’t believe in higher powers.
* It was an emotional wedding; even the cake was in tiers.
* The shoemaker did not deny his apprentice anything he needed. He gave him his awl.
* A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it is two-tired.