Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) have been in the news a lot lately. There is a clear need for innovative solutions to the problem. Best practices such as hand hygiene, and protective gear can only go so far. Soft surfaces can become a key weapon in the fight against these deadly infections.

The CDC released the latest Vital Signs report on HAIs and the news is not great. More needs to be done to stop HAIs. The key actions outlined to prevent antibiotic resistant infections include: Preventing infections from catheters and after surgery, stopping the spread and improving antibiotic use. Further, the report recommends that gowns and gloves should be used when treating patients with HAIs. Many other soft surfaces in the patient environment can undermine best practices, such as privacy / cubicle curtains, bed sheets/pillowcases, scrubs, and patient gowns.

Also released recently, the newest Prevention Status Reports (PSRs) from the CDC highlights the status of policies and practices designed to address 10 important public health problems. The report features an interactive map that details each states’ health topics, including HAIs.

Also in the news, St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens, Ga utilized UV light as a protocol to reduce the spread of HAIs on the hard surfaces of their facility. The team at St. Mary’s is commended for their forward-thinking innovative approach. Taking the HAI fight a step further by addressing soft surfaces would prove time and resources well spent.

Coincidentally, March 13-19 is Patient Safety Awareness week, a week dedicated to raising awareness of threats like HAIs and reminding us “we are all patients.” Created by the National Patient Safety Foundation, Patient Safety Awareness Week is the culmination of the United in Patient Safety Campaign. The National Patient Safety Foundation is providing a number of ways to get involved – including taking the pledge for patient safety. Prime Medical is proud to be a supporter of this important week. We have shared information through our social media accounts to raise awareness.