Less tol­er­ance likely

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Letters -

Ku­dos to the CMS and Mod­ern Health­care for call­ing at­ten­tion to the need for more stan­dard­ized re­port­ing of health­care-as­so­ci­ated in­fec­tions to help iden­tify and pre­vent them (“The in­fec­tion con­nec­tion,” Aug. 9, p. 6).

In ad­di­tion to the trans­mis­sion meth­ods cur­rently tracked in the Na­tional Health­care Safety Net­work re­port­ing, re­search also in­di­cates that health­care-as­so­ci­ated in­fec­tions can be spread through the en­vi­ron­ment via pa­tients, sur­face ar­eas, equip­ment and the air. Pre­ven­tion of health­care-as­so­ci­ated in­fec­tions with tra­di­tional clean­ing mea­sures has been proven to be in­suf­fi­cient, and we must reeval­u­ate our en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­in­fec­tion strat­egy to truly ef­fect the change re­quired.

The num­ber of these pre­ventable in­fec­tions that oc­curs an­nu­ally is un­ac­cept­able; the good news is that there are new emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies, such as pulsed xenon ul­tra­vi­o­let light, to help ef­fec­tively re­move in­fec­tions from the hos­pi­tal en­vi­ron­ment. Con­sumer tol­er­ance for health­care-as­so­ci­ated in­fec­tions is cer­tain to de­cline as aware­ness in­creases.

Mark Stibich Chief sci­en­tific of­fi­cer and epi­demi­ol­o­gist Xenex Health­care Ser­vices

Austin, Texas

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