Design // One way for hospitals to improve patient satisfaction is to focus on their physical environment, according to a new guide by the American Hospital Association’s Hospitals In Pursuit of Excellence initiative and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering. “[E]very aspect of a patient’s experience of care is influenced by valuable and often underused resources: the health care physical environment and the people who manage it,” the organizations note. Titled "Improving the Patient Experience Through the Health Care Physical Envionment," the guide explains how the environment affects the patient experience.
Infection prevention // The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that health care personnel use “standard precautions” at all times in every health care setting to prevent potential transmission of the Zika virus, regardless of whether infection is suspected or confirmed. Standard precautions include hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, safe injection practices, and safe handling of potentially contaminated equipment or surfaces in the patient environment. CDC said that health care personnel “should assess their risk for exposure and select PPE appropriate for the situation,” and that all personnel on a team involved in the same procedures should use the same level of PPE.
Supply chain // The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing a ban on most powdered gloves in the U.S. The FDA notes that while the use of powdered gloves is decreasing, its continued presence poses a risk of illness or injury. The proposed ban includes powdered surgeons’ gloves, powdered patient examination gloves and absorbable powder for lubricating surgeons’ gloves. Aerosolized glove powder on natural rubber latex gloves can carry proteins that may cause respiratory reactions. Likewise, powdered synthetic gloves are associated with airway inflammation, wound inflammation and post-surgical adhesions.
Emergency management // Hospitals were encouraged to review and exercise their security plans following the terror attacks in Belgium, according to leaders of the public/private councils that coordinate health care and public health sector preparedness activities for the departments of Homeland Security and Health & Human Services. “Incidents like this give us another opportunity to review our response plans with our employees for situational awareness, maintaining vigilance for behaviors, objects and activities that depart from the norm of their experience, that are out of place for the area, that prompt suspicion, or that otherwise raise safety or security concerns,” the councils stated.
Biomedical // The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated public health information regarding interference between computed tomography (CT) and electronic medical devices. The FDA says it has received a small number of reports that it believes are associated with CT imaging of some implantable and wearable electronic devices like insulin pumps. When a CT scanner directly irradiates the circuitry of the medical device, it can affect the function of the device. However, the probability of interference is extremely low and is avoided when the device is outside of the primary X-ray beam of the CT scanner.