How diversifying infection prevention team reduces risk of healthcare-associated infections

How diversifying infection prevention teams increases productivity

Healthcare facilities across the country, including clinics and hospitals, have been prioritizing infection prevention in recent years. Outbreaks from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) not only extend the time a patient spends in treatment but can also have deadly consequences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report about 72,000 deaths per year from HAIs. The risks aren’t limited to patient safety either – providers must also weigh the financial implications of HAI spread. The annual costs of healthcare-associated infections is in excess of $9.5 billion in [...]

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for prostate cancer treatment

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) found to be a possible treatment for prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men. In 2020 alone, the American Cancer Society estimates that 191,930 men in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease. Although survival rates are high (estimated at 98% ten years after treatment), prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death for American men. Treatment of the disease typically consists of radiation therapy or surgery. However, a recently published study in The Journal of Urology revealed that high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can be used as [...]

The importance of high-level disinfection on ultrasound transducers

The importance of high-level disinfection for ultrasound

Although ultrasound is generally considered to be a safe imaging modality, it is essential for practitioners to adhere to the proper level of disinfection. While low-level disinfection (LLD) may be suitable for many non-invasive ultrasound scans, transducers that have been involved in invasive procedures require a heightened level of infection control. This is where high-level disinfection (HLD) comes into the mix. When ultrasound transducers come into contact with mucous membranes and bodily fluids, such as blood, clinicians must apply HLD.  After cleaning the transducer [...]

Difference between transperineal and transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsies

Difference between transrectal and transperineal prostate biopsies

In the United States, it is common practice for many men between the ages of 55 and 69 to be screened annually or every other year for prostate cancer. Physicians may screen patients with a blood test, digital rectal exam (DRE), and prostate-specific antigen (PSA). In cases where patients have a confirmed high or rising PSA level, physicians will routinely order a transrectal ultrasound scan. If the DRE shows an abnormality, then patients will typically proceed to a prostate biopsy as well. Although nearly all prostate [...]

The role of healthcare professionals in infection control

The Role of Healthcare Professionals in Infection Prevention [4 Tips]

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) continue to pose a risk to patient safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that on any given day 1 in 31 hospital patients will contract an HAI in the United States. At the forefront of the fight against HAIs are healthcare providers themselves. To successfully combat infections, it is crucial that practitioners work alongside infection preventionists and adhere to their facility’s infection control protocols. Without a concerted effort that includes providers, any [...]

Needle guide use in ultrasound-guided renal biopsies

How needle guides improve safety in ultrasound-guided renal biopsies

Biopsies are an essential component of a physician’s cancer care toolkit. In a nephrologist’s toolkit, renal biopsies are equally important. Renal biopsy has experienced several modifications since its inception decades ago, including the recent incorporation of needle guides. From the introduction of the Vim-Silverman needle in the 1950s to the development of the spring-loaded automated biopsy gun, clinicians have continually modified their methods to improve patient outcomes. The use of ultrasound guidance during these procedures has become widespread in the [...]

Equipment drapes being used in surgical settings protect patients from infections

Equipment Drapes as a Barrier to Infection

The current climate within healthcare has propelled infection control as a top of mind concern, not just for hospitals and interventional settings, but for a variety of practices. From gynecology clinics to medical imaging facilities, administrators and practitioners are seeking ways to keep patients safe. Many times, these practices use a range of equipment in their offices, the majority of which can easily turn into vectors of infection if they are contaminated and come into contact with a vulnerable patient. Thus, equipment drapes [...]

Sustainable solutions for healthcare and medical imaging

The Importance of Sustainability in Medical Imaging

Sustainability continues to be an often-discussed topic in various sectors of the economy. From finance to retail to manufacturing, firms have been looking to see what they can do to be more sustainable. Whether this means changing the materials used in their products or reducing the amount of waste in their office spaces, sustainability has become a principal concern for many modern organizations.  Healthcare is no different. In a study published in JAMA in late 2019, researchers found that the healthcare sector in the [...]

Mammography services during COVID-19 reopening and how to keep patients safe

Safely Re-Opening Mammography Services [5 Recommendations]

Following the potent effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on imaging volume, mammography services have been on the rise once more in the United States. Imaging services took a nearly 70 percent hit from the pandemic when most of the country shut down and several states suspended healthcare services considered to be non-essential.  Although imaging has resumed, mammography services will not look the same as they did pre-pandemic. This goes for several healthcare services, since practitioners and infection preventionists are looking into new ways to operate while [...]

Choosing a hospital-grade disinfectant spray

Choosing a hospital-grade disinfectant spray [key factors]

Improving patient safety is a top of mind concern for infection preventionists, administrators, and physicians. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shed even more light on the importance of infection prevention and control as healthcare professionals look to mitigate the risk of transmission in their facilities.   From isolating potential and confirmed cases to installing UV light disinfecting machines, healthcare facilities across the country have been revising and augmenting their infection control protocols. One area in particular which remains in focus is the use of sprays (and [...]