NewSplash Archive – February 2017

Issue 8 – 2/28
New material made with engineered cells glows when in contact with certain chemicals
Scientists at MIT have developed a material that contains living, genetically engineered E. coli cells that are programmed to fluoresce when they come into contact with certain chemicals. The material is a tough, stretchy, biocompatible sheet of hydrogel injected with the cells.

Potential new antibiotic shows promise
Scientists from the University of Plymouth and the University of Manchester have researched the performance of epidermicin, the first in a new class of antibiotics, against an established treatment called mupirocin to gauge its effectiveness in fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A single dose of epidermicin as effective as mupirocin administered twice daily for three days to eradicate MRSA from the nostrils of cotton rats.

Engineers use stomach acid to power tiny ingestible sensors
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have designed a small voltaic cell that is powered by stomach acid. The system can generate enough power to run small sensors or deliver medication.

The Joint Commission changes post-surgery process and decision rules
Recently, The Joint Commission made changes to post-survey process and decision rules to simplify and streamline the process. Changes include the elimination of Contingent Accreditation, new rules to the Preliminary Denial of Accreditation category, change to the process for organizations with a decision of Preliminary Denial of Accreditation, and the transition of accreditation decision making from an Accreditation Committee to and executive team.

AAMI 2017
AAMI 2017 Annual Conference & Expo conference registration is now open. Most attendees to the full conference who register by March 20 will save $100, and one-day attendees will save $50 if registered by March 20.

Risk Reduction Tools
Over the next three issues of NewSplash, we will look at Risk Reduction Tools used by healthcare facilities to evaluate patient safety. These tools can help your facility prepare for a survey and provide a process to remedy problem areas. In this issue we will look at Root Cause Analysis.

 

Issue 7 – 2/21
Cardiologist develops 3D hologram to study the heart
In an amazing study, cardiologist Partho Sengupta took two-dimensional images and presented them in 3D. He crowdfunded his idea to create a method to display the heart in a holographic form so doctors and researchers can manipulate and study at their desks, with the goal of fast detection of heart disease, personalized treatment, and saving lives.

New antibiotic derived from bacteria found on Kenyan ant may help beat MRSA
Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the John Innes Centre (JIC) discovered a new member of theStreptomyces bacteria family, which was isolated from the African fungus that grows on the arboreal Tetraponera penzigi ant. This ant lives symbiotically with the acacia tree in hollowed out structures called domatia that the tree evolved to house them.

Russian and Swedish scientists slow aging process in mice
Scientists at Lomonosov Moscow State University developed a compound that slowed down aging in mice. The study focused on mitochondria and its role in the aging process.

Effective immediately, surveys will check for compliance of FDA ban on powdered gloves
The Joint Commission recently announced it would check for compliance to the FDA ban on powdered gloves in surveys, beginning now. The FDA ban went into effect on January 18 and applies to all accreditation programs.

ANA, CDC partner to improve infection control education for nurses
The CDC and the American Nurses Association jointly launched a nursing education network for infection control and prevention.

Consulting services for accreditation surveys
If your facility is facing an accreditation survey or needs help passing one, consulting services can help assess your organizations accreditation readiness, identify gaps in systems or processes, and develop and implement improvement plans. The Joint Commission Resourcesoperates independently of The Joint Commission (TJC) and provides services designed to improve patient safety and maintain compliance with accreditation standards of TJC.

 

Issue 6 – 2/14
Getinge Group announces distribution partnership with Ultra Clean Systems
Getinge Group has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Ultra Clean Systems to distribute the full line of Ultra Clean Systems’ hospital-grade ultrasonic cleaning equipment, detergent, and related accessories. Getinge Group will also provide service and support for all installed Ultra Clean Systems equipment.

Toronto woman lives 6 days without lungs while awaiting transplant
In what is believed to be the first procedure of its kind, thoracic surgeons at Toronto General Hospital (TGH) removed severely infected lungs from dying 32 year old Melissa Benoit and kept her alive for six days by placing her on Extra-Corporeal Lung Support (ECLS), which is a temporary life-support device that supports lung and heart function. Benoit, who has cystic fibrosis, was admitted to TGH after a recent bout of influenza which caused her to cough so hard she fractured her ribs.

Damaged endoscopes more susceptible to pathogens
In a seven-month study involving 20 endoscopes, 12 of the endoscopes tested positive for microbial growth despite rigorous reprocessing. Researchers found residual fluid, discoloration, and channel debris in all 20 endoscopes, and scopes with physical damage or defects were particularly susceptible to pathogens.

Environmental cleaning approaches for reducing MRSA transmission
A new study, published in BMC Infectious Diseases, examines the efficacy of different approaches for cleaning environmental surfaces to prevent contact transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and other hospital-acquired infections.

Drug combinations may be effective in reducing growth of deadly bacteria
Biologists at UCLA who have been working on a response to antibiotic resistance reported that combinations of three different antibiotics can overcome bacteria’s resistance to antibiotics, even when a single antibiotic or a combination or two or three together is ineffective. According to the study, using two or three antibiotics together doesn’t necessarily make the drugs more effective (their effectiveness can actually be reduced), so the combinations must be chosen carefully and systematically.

Scientists create organs on chips for drug screening
A research team from the University of California Irvine (UCI) successfully established multiple vascularized microorgans on an industry-standard 96-well plate. The team has demonstrated how a blood substitute can flow through a vascular network they created to deliver nutrients to tissues, such as heart, pancreas, brain, and various tumors.

Conduct audits to prepare for a survey
Conducting an audit prior to a survey can reveal weaknesses that can be corrected before a surveyor uncovers them. Infection control guidelines continue to develop and technology for reprocessing instruments advances, so it is important to follow the most current published professional recommendations and adhere to policies and procedures to ensure a successful outcome.

 

Issue 5 – 2/7
Scientists create 3D bioprinter to print human skin
Spanish scientists from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid; the Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research; and Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañon collaborated with BioDan Group to create a prototype 3D bioprinter that can create fully functional human skin. The skin may be used in research and testing of cosmetics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and even for transplanting to patients.

Researchers develop breathalyzer to detect influenza
Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington have developed a prototype breathalyzer to detect signs of influenza on a patient’s breath. When people become infected with influenza, they release excess levels of isoprene, ammonia, and nitric oxide.

Retired standards developer reflects on changes
Carol Herman managed the AAMI Standards Department for almost five years and spent nearly four decades in the field. AAMI interviewed Herman about her career, changes in the field, her accomplishments, her stewardship, and the challenges that lie ahead.

Sepsis causes more readmissions than COPD, heart failure, heart attack, and pneumonia
Sepsis—a complication caused by the body’s immune response to life-threatening infections—accounts for more readmissions than any of the four conditions Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) tracks for reimbursement purposes, according to a new research letter published in JAMA.

Chip separates nanoparticles from liquid samples to detect disease
Scientists at Duke University have developed a means of concentrating nanoparticles inside a small device by using sound waves. This accomplishment may help pave the way for portable diagnostics that rely on attaching nanoparticles to biomarkers, such as proteins, and measuring how they locate their targets.

APIC releases new online course
APIC announced a new online course on “Basic Statistics for Infection Preventionists,” based on their popular virtual learning lab. In this course, you will learn about the role of statistics in infection prevention, steps in statistical analysis, and how to directly apply these skills with commonly used tools.

AAMI guide to assist CMS and central processing with best preparedness for The Joint Commission survey
The CDC and Food and Drug Administration assisted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in developing a set of questions for surveyors to use in assessing the appropriateness of ambulatory surgical centers’ sterilization processes.