CDC data shows patients were 16 percent less likely to have an HAI in 2015 than in 2011 The New England Journal of Medicine has published the results of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Healthcare- Associated Infections Prevalence Survey 2015 (2015 HAI Prevalence Survey), a multi-state point prevalence survey to determine how com- mon healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are in U.S. hospitals. The project examines the numbers and types

of HAIs, the types of antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics), and the reasons antimicrobial drugs are used in hospitals and nursing homes. This information will help create policies and procedures to make healthcare safer for pa- tients in U.S. healthcare facilities. The latest results show that about 3% of hospital patients had an HAI, and patients were 16% less likely to have an HAI in 2015 than they were in 2011, which is when a similar survey was last conducted. Key findings from the 2015 HAI Prevalence

Survey include: • On any given day, about one in 31 hospital patients has at least one HAI.

• Fewer patients had HAIs in 2015 than in 2011, largely due to reductions in the prevalence of surgical-site and urinary tract infections.

• More progress is needed in the prevention of C. difficile infections and pneumonia. In each site, hospitals were selected for partici-

pation if they had previously participated in the 2011 survey. The goal was to include up to 25 hospitals in each Emerging Infections Program (EIP) site. After recruiting hospitals that had par- ticipated in the 2011 survey, EIP sites recruited additional hospitals, up to a total of 25, using a stratified random sample based on hospital bed size. Hospital participation was voluntary. Medical records were reviewed by EIP staff members, and in some cases by hospital staff members, to collect demographic and clinical data. Detailed information on infections and antimicrobial drug use were collected by trained EIP staff members. The most common infection types were:

• pneumonia (26% of all infections) • gastrointestinal infections (21%) • surgical site infections (16%) • bloodstream infections unrelated to an infection at another site (12%)

• urinary tract infections (9%) The CDC says this information is intended to

help create policies and procedures to make healthcare safer for patients in U.S. healthcare facilities.

INFECTION PREVENTION Textiles and technology

Working together for better outcomes by Susan Cantrell, ELS

Purchasing News reviewed a sampling of up-to-date offerings from textile vendors, from linens to cleaning products to patient and staff apparel, and everything in between. Some products are reusable, some disposable. Some textiles may be impregnated with an antimicrobial to assist in thwarting cross-transmission. Some may be tracked electronically for account- ability and to reduce costs. Some may be composed of microfiber to really grab those organisms. The variations are many.

L Apparel

Scrubs and their laundering and tracking have been an issue for years. Should scrubs be laundered at home or by professionals? How can they be tracked so that they don’t disappear and inventory constantly need to be replaced? The ScrubVAULT System, a rental and

ike any other aspect of healthcare, technology is responsible for advanc- ing textiles to new levels. Healthcare

The ScrubVAULT System from ImageFIRST

laundry program for scrubs from ImageFirst, addresses those problems with technology. Jay Juffre, Executive Vice President, described the product. “The ScrubVault System is a solution that includes a scrub cabinet; secured individualized access for staff; RFID-chipped scrubs for automated tracking, reporting, and accountability; and a fully managed inventory program.” Juffre described how their system works to reduce transmission of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), comply with best prac- tices, and facilitate better patient outcomes. “Our scrubs are laundered in our facilities, which meet or exceed Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council standards. Our unique Triple BioShield Pro- tection process comprises (1) a wash process that kills up to 99.999 percent of pathogens, (2) a bacteria-inhibiting softener and a protective coating applied to all textile, and (3) textile products encased in a plastic barrier for deliv- ery. Scrubs are RFID-chipped and secured in the ScrubVAULT. They can only be accessed


with unique codes, helping facilities stay compliant with Association for periOperative Registered Nurse’s Guidelines for Surgical At- tire, which helps lower costs by minimizing disappearance of scrubs and by reducing staff headaches from trying to find scrubs.” Juffre believes that reusable scrubs are more cost-effective and less wasteful than using disposable scrubs while allowing staff access to higher quality scrubs. An- other costly problem with scrubs is that they tend to walk off with unauthorized users, forcing administra- tors to buy more scrubs. “The biggest benefit of the ScrubVAULT is account- ability,” said Juffre. “Thanks to the RFID chips embed- ded in every scrub and the individualized access to the ScrubVAULT, administra- tors will know who took what, when, and whether

they returned it. This helps by minimizing the need for constant replacements purchases, containing costs with accurate and real-time inventory management, automated tracking, and confirmation that a staff member is, or is not, using scrubs that have been properly laun- dered to meet healthcare industry standards.” Encompass Group is another manufacturer and marketer of reusable textiles and profes- sional apparel, as well as disposable and single-use medical products. Kelley Terrell, Marketing Director, Techstyles Nonwovens Product Lines, described their products. “En- compass disposable staff apparel is available in the Evolution and Essentials product port- folios, with both elastic or drawstring waist options and four colors to support population identification programs for vendors, visitors, and staff. To drive compliance, Encompass Disposable Staff Apparel Evolution Series features a fabric-like material that provides superior comfort, fit, and performance. They are available in true blue or forest green. The Essentials Series is available in ceil blue or wine and are made of high-quality SMS [spunbond/meltblown/spunbond, a tri-layer polypropylene] for enhanced opacity and breathability].

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