VA decreases fall-related injury rate in its facilities

The Veterans Health Administration’s successful initiative to reduce fall-related injuries in its facilities is the focus of a new Joint Commission report.

Part 2 of the report, “Improving Fall Prevention Practices in the Veterans Health Administration,” gives details on a how a collaborative effort among 59 teams to expand program infrastructure, redesign improvement strategies and enhance program evaluation resulted in an average decrease of five major injuries per month. The mean aggregated fall-related injury rate decreased from 6.8 to 4.8 per 100,000 bed-days of care.

WHO guidelines to reduce surgical-site infections address physical environment

The World Health Organization has updated its Global Guidelines for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infection. The 186-page document includes a section on the role the built environment can play in this effort.

“For many years, environmental contamination was considered to be less important than many other factors in contributing to health care-associated infections,” WHO officials state. “However, recent evidence shows that a contaminated health care environment plays a significant role in the transmission of microorganisms.”

Study: Soiled clinical linens may be source of C. difficile contamination

A new paper published inthe Federation of European Microbiological Societies Microbiology Letters suggests that soiled clinical linens may be a source of surface Clostridium difficile contamination.

Researchers took 120 surface samples from dirty areas of a laundry facility that handles soiled clinical linens, and 120 samples from clean areas that process and fold the clean linens.

Of the samples taken from surfaces in the dirty side of the laundry facility, 23 percent tested positive for C. difficile. Only 2 percent of sampled surfaces from the clean side were positive for C. difficile.

Research shows patients' perceptions of hospital cleanliness impacts multiple satisfaction measures

A new report from Compass One Healthcare and Press Ganey indicates that patients' perceptions of a hospital's cleanliness can have a major impact on their overall care and hospital experience. Specifically, the data show correlations between patients' perceptions of room cleanliness and three important categories: the risk of hospital-acquired infections; a hospital's score on the HCAHPS survey and scores on the HCAHPS teamwork indicators.

ASHE energy and water survey extended to Nov. 18

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering is collecting data on water and energy use at health care facilities through its 2016 Energy and Water Survey. Data collected will be anonymously shared with the Environmental Protection Agency and may be used to help update the its ENERGY STAR scoring model.

ASHE has extended the deadline to complete the survey to Nov. 18.

FDA: Teleflex recalls anesthesia devices

Teleflex Medical Inc. has recalled several medical devices used for topical anesthesia via an atomized spray to the oral, nasal, pharyngeal or laryngeal mucosa.

Teleflex is recalling the product because it may produce a straight stream instead of a fully atomized plume of medication. Company officials say it is unlikely the error will result in serious adverse health consequences, but an inadequate delivery of anesthesia could result in discomfort and other complications.

President convenes interagency council on global health security

President Obama last week directed the National Security Council to convene a federal interagency council to review and report on progress to advance the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a multicountry initiative launched in 2014 to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease threats. Among other actions, the Department of Health & Human Services secretary will track progress on the GHSA Action Packages, which are country commitments to advance and share “best practices” toward specific targets.