Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) remain a big threat to patient safety and cost the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars annually, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
On any given day, about one in every 31 hospital patients has at least one HAI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Yet most are preventable.
“HAI prevention hinges on successful adherence to best practices over the long haul, and longitudinal surveillance by IP programs reminds clinicians and administrators not to let down their guard,” write Dr. Alison Galdys and others in Infection Control Today.
Four Areas For Infection Prevention Improvement
The National Steering Committee for Patient Safety (NSC) recently published: ”Safer Together: A National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety," which identified four areas to drive improvement in infection prevention. They were: culture, leadership and governance, patient and family engagement, workforce safety and learning systems. Among the recommendations:
While the NSC action plan does not specifically address endoscopy, HAIs have been shown to occur in endoscopy patients. Contaminated endoscopes are associated with more infections than any other medical device.
Reusable flexible bronchoscopes were singled out as a source of multiple infection outbreaks and pseudo-outbreaks in a recent literature review. That analysis, published in the European Respiratory Journal, found a 10 percent HAI risk after patient contamination that was introduced by a bronchoscope.
Single-use bronchoscopes eliminate that infection risk since they are sterile straight from the package.