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Category Archives: health policy

One more set of recommendations

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… and then next week I’ll be back to analyzing the medical literature: A stack of interesting new journal articles is threatening to topple and bury my computer. For the moment, though: First, the Hearst newspapers chain has conducted a nationwide investigation into medical errors that should be required reading for anyone who wonders why […]

Infections rise, but hospital budgets – and infection control – shrink

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Bad news from the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC): In a survey of almost 2,000 of their 12,000 members, 41% say that their hospitals’ infection-prevention budgets have been cut due to the down economy. According to the survey, conducted March 2009 and released Tuesday morning: Three-quarters of those whose budgets were […]

10 years but little progress on patient safety

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Constant readers, I’ve been away for a week — trying to get my breath back now that the chaos of the novel H1N1/swine flu is diminishing — and so I’ve missed a lot of news. Over this week, I’ll try to catch you up on it. First up: Some of you know that, 10 years […]

GlobalPost launches and SUPERBUG is there

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Constant readers, I am thrilled to let you know that SUPERBUG is among a select list of blogs invited to be featured on GlobalPost, a gutsy and innovative new online news site that launches today. GlobalPost is the creation of Charles M. Sennott, formerly an award-winning foreign correspondent and bureau chief for the Boston Globe, […]

Reducing healthcare infections – what it really takes

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Happy holidays, constant readers. Whatever you celebrate, I hope your days are full of security, calm and joy. For those of you reading over the break, here’s a pointer to a post that takes us on the other side of the curtain, into the world of hospital administrators. Those of us who are concerned about […]

More on MRSA pneumonia, flu and ER delays

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Folks, yesterday I posted the very sad story of 39-year-old Robert Sweitzer of Tucson, who died of MRSA pneumonia after being triaged to an 8-hour wait, in an overcrowded emergency room, during the height of flu season. As a follow-up, I want to emphasize that while necrotizing pneumonia may seem an unusual circumstance, there is […]

New report and recommendations, "Why Infectious Diseases Are a Threat to America"

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I’m still catching up post-ICAAC – and in addition am on the road reporting, again. But I’m trying to keep all y’all informed. (That’s a clue to my destination. Where in the US is “y’all” a single noun and “all y’all” the plural? Hint: It’s the same place where “barbecue” is only made of beef… […]

Much new news on hospital-acquired infections

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There’s a ton of new, and conflicting, findings on prevention and detection of hospital-acquired MRSA and other infections. First: Today, in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, three researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University add to the ferocious debate on “search and destroy,” the colloquial name for active surveillance and testing: that is, checking admitted […]

UK: Hospitals’ MRSA deaths could bring manslaughter charges

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Last Wednesday was the first day of the new federal fiscal year, and therefore the day on which HHS’s new “non-reimbursement for medical errors” rule went into effect. Under this new rule (blogged here and here and covered in this New York Times story), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services will no longer reimburse […]

Disease-related Do Not Fly list?

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This is not strictly MRSA-related, but it is so striking it’s worth posting on. This morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US public health agency, revealed in its weekly bulletin that it has begun maintaining a “Do Not Board” list for people who are thought to be a communicable-disease risk to others. […]