AHA comments on New York Times hospital security article
A recent New York Times article on health care facility security challenges has sparked comment from the American Hospital Association.

In a letter to the editor, Pam Thompson, chief nursing officer and senior vice president for the AHA and CEO of its American Organization of Nurse Executives, wrote that the article “highlights the challenges that hospitals face daily both to serve our patients and protect the dedicated men and women who care for them 24/7.”

Thompson went on to say that health care facilities are open to everyone, and patients need to have a safe environment. “The complex issues of assuring that patients are safe and protecting hospital workers are best addressed on a hospital-by-hospital basis, and specific training and education are essential,” she says.

The New York Times article, “When the Hospital Fires the Bullet,” addresses the topic of using armed security guards in hospitals.   

Study shows copper can destroy MRSA that was spread by touch
The University of Southampton, England, published research showing that copper can destroy methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus that was spread by touching and fingertip contamination of surfaces. The paper was published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Bill Keevil, chair of environmental health care at Southampton, says “Our work shows that copper targets various cellular sites, not only killing bacterial and viral pathogens, but also rapidly destroying their nucleic acid genetic material so there is no chance of mutation occurring and nothing to pass on to other microbes.”

FDA recommends that customers stop using Custom Ultrasonics endoscope reprocessors
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that health care facilities using Custom Ultrasonics automated endoscope reprocessors should transition to alternative methods. The FDA sent two notices telling Custom Ultrasonics to recall its products, but the company has yet to come up with an adequate plan. The FDA notes the company has not demonstrated that its reprocessors can adequately wash and disinfect endoscopes to mitigate the risk of patient infection.

HRSA to award $6 million in rural telehealth grants for school-based health centers
The Health Resources and Services Administration is accepting applications to support telehealth services for school-based health centers in rural, frontier and underserved communities. The Telehealth Network Grant Program anticipates awarding up to 20 grants of up to $300,00 a year for four years. Applications are due April 8.

FDA approves PENTAX revised duodenoscope reprocessing instructions
PENTAX has issued updated, validated manual reprocessing instructions for its ED-3490TK Video Duodenoscope. The Food and Drug Administration reviewed the new instructions and validation data and recommends that facilities train staff on the new instructions and implement them as soon as possible.

VA invests $4.6 billion to streamline its medical-surgical supply chain
Veterans Affairs (VA) announced four major contracts as part of its $4.6 billion Medical-Surgical Prime Vendor Next-Generation Program. The VA says the program will help to modernize its supply chain. VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald says “we had to look at our processes from the way we deliver care to the way we order products that provide this care. This next-generation program improves the acquisition process of surgical supplies, and ensures a speedier delivery to veterans.”