APIC member poll assesses U.S. Ebola preparedness
A poll on Ebola preparedness from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) shows that U.S. health care infection preventionists feel more prepared to confront Ebola compared with last year.

Nine in 10 infection control leaders believe their facilities are better prepared today than a year ago to receive a patient with a highly lethal infectious disease, even though more than half say their facilities have not provided additional resources to support their infection prevention and control programs as a result of the Ebola crisis.

The facilities that did add resources include 10 percent of respondents who added personnel and 37 percent who received additional support and training on infection control protocols.

"Though progress has been made toward addressing unanticipated, deadly threats like Ebola, there is still more to do to address infection prevention programs overall," states Katrina Crist, CEO. "We can't wait for the next crisis to get ready."

APIC will release its MegaSurvey on the current state of infection prevention next year.

Also this week:

EPA extends comment period for proposed standards for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has received several requests for the agency to extend the comment period for its proposed Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals rule. The EPA is extending the comment period to Dec. 24.

Updates added to ASHE, Joint Commission code compliance resources
The American Society for Healthcare Engineering and the Joint Commission have updated the Focus on Compliance and Physical Environment Portal websites. The sites provide compliance resources for the most commonly cited Joint Commission standards. This month's resource focuses on LS.02.01.20 Means of Egress.

The Joint Commission has also added a new resource offering Joint Commission surveyor insights on the same standards focused on in its Physical Environment Portal.

Hospital-acquired conditions fall 17 percent over three years
Hospital-acquired conditions declined by 17 percent (1.3 million) between 2010 and 2013, saving an estimated 50,000 lives and $12 billion in health care costs, according to final results reported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Study says infection control improvements justify cost of private patient rooms
A study in the Journal of Critical Care investigated whether cost savings from reductions in nosocomial infections justify the additional construction and operational costs of single-bed rooms in intensive care units (ICUs). The study shows evidence that single-patient rooms can play an important role in preventing cross-transmission and reducing nosocomial infections in ICUs.

NFPA accepting input on carbon dioxide extinguishing systems standard
The National Fire Protection Agency is accepting input on NFPA 12: Standard on Carbon Dioxide Extinguishing Systems. The standard contains requirements for carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing systems to help ensure that such equipment will function as intended throughout its life. It is intended for those who purchase, design, install, test, inspect, approve, list, operate, or maintain these systems

Joint Commission, CDC collaborate on ambulatory infection prevention project
The Joint Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are collaborating on an infection control initiative designed to adapt, enhance and disseminate CDC guidance related to infection prevention and control in ambulatory health care settings.

BLS releases report on employer-related work injuries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the 2014 Report on Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses. The report shows that nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers continue to decline. Total recordable cases for 2014 was 3.2 cases per 100 full-time workers compared with 3.3 in 2013.