Infection Prevention & Control Newsletter
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September was a busy month for infection prevention and control news. Highlights in this issue of the ICCS Newsletter include a top area of Joint Commission non-compliance, an FDA recommendation concerning reprocessing duodenoscopes, hand hygiene guidance, new flu shot recommendations and hospital struggles with C. diff.

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Joint Commission: Infection Control Standard Among the Most Challenging for Ambulatory Care, Hospitals (published by Joint Commission Online; coverage by ICCS) — The Joint Commission standard IC.02.02.01 was one of the top requirements cited most frequently as "not compliant" during surveys and reviews of ambulatory care facilities, hospitals and office-based surgery practices for the first half of 2016.

FDA Recommendation: Stop Using System 83 Plus AERs for Duodenoscope Reprocessing (published by ICCS) — The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a recommendation advising healthcare facilities no longer use Custom Ultrasonics' System 83 Plus automated endoscope reprocessors (AERs) for reprocessing duodenoscopes. ICCS cautions facilities that may choose manual high-level disinfection upon ceasing use of System 83 Plus AERs that every step for reprocessing in this manner must follow manufacturers' instructions for use.

Splash, Soap, Rinse, Dry: How to assess hand hygiene and stay compliant (published by ASC Focus) — Despite years of hard work to promote and attain hand hygiene compliance in the health care setting, the industry continues to struggle to achieve goals that are set by external agencies and within the facilities themselves. Includes insight from ICCS President Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC.

This Year's Flu Shot Recommendation Includes One Major Change (The Huffington Post) — People who were counting on the nasal spray form of the vaccine will have to settle for a shot. The CDC recommends only the injection for preventing the flu for the 2016-17 season after concerns arose last year about the effectiveness of the spray.

CDC Study Finds Increased Use of Powerful Antibiotics at U.S. Hospitals (published by The Wall Street Journal) — A new study by CDC found more widespread use by U.S. hospitals of powerful antibiotics designed to fight infections when less-robust antibiotics fail, a "worrisome" development as bacteria grow increasingly immune to treatment, the researchers said.

Consumer Reports Names Hospitals With High C. Diff Infection Rates (published by Consumer Reports) — About a third of the more than 3,100 hospitals evaluated received a low rating for C. diff infection control, meaning their infection rates were worse than the national benchmark. And 19 of the nation’s largest teaching hospitals were among those to receive low marks.

'Superbug' scourge spreads as U.S. fails to track rising human toll (published by Reuters) — Fifteen years after the U.S. declared drug-resistant infections to be a grave threat, the crisis is only worsening, a Reuters investigation finds, as government agencies remain unwilling or unable to impose reporting requirements on a healthcare industry that often hides the problem.

Concerns on the Infection Prevention Limitations of Standard Precautions (published by Infection Control Today) — The Standard Precautions concept in healthcare dictates that healthcare workers assess risk in advance of a patient interaction and use appropriate interventions such as barriers, hand hygiene, and/or surface disinfection, to address the risk and prevent becoming contaminated by the patient or the patient’s environment. A growing body of research has called into question whether this approach is in fact adequate.

Dialysis organizations team up with CDC to protect patients (published by CDC) — CDC is teaming up with a broad coalition of kidney and dialysis organizations to reduce the number of bloodstream infections in dialysis patients. The new initiative, known as the Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition, aims to significantly expand the use of CDC recommendations and tools to improve dialysis patient safety nationwide. 

Leisure-Time Physical Activity and the Risk of Suspected Bacterial Infections (published by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise) — Low leisure-time physical activity is associated with a statistically significant 10% lower risk of suspected bacterial infections during a one-year follow-up compared with sedentary behavior. Further, low and moderate levels of physical activity were associated with the statistically significant reduction of suspected cystitis.
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