CDC report on strategies to prevent Legionella

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lays out recommended preventive strategies that facility managers can use to prevent Legionnaires' disease from occurring in health care facilities.

Steps facility managers can take to prevent this from happening include:

  • Building a team focused on keeping the facility’s water safe.
  • Creating and using a water management program to limit Legionella and other waterborne germs from growing and spreading.
  • Working with health care providers to identify Legionnaires' disease cases early and determine if those cases may be associated with a health care facility.
  • Reporting Legionnaires' disease cases to local public health authorities quickly and working with them to investigate and prevent additional cases.

The CDC says that Legionella often can be prevented with effective water management. The  American Society for Healthcare Engineering has created several resources to help health care facilities in this issue, including:

CMS issues guidance on emergency preparedness rule enforcement

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services added a new appendix to its Emergency Preparedness requirements for Medicare and Medicaid participating providers.

The appendix contains the interpretive guidelines and survey procedures for the Emergency Preparedness Final Rule. The appendix applies to all 17 providers and suppliers included in the final rule.

IAHSS’ new guidance on safety in outpatient facilities

The International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS) released a new industry guideline titled “Outpatient Care Services,” which is especially applicable to all professional ambulatory care groups. 

IAHSS states that health care organizations should develop a written security plan for each type of facility addressing site-specific preventive, protective and response measures.

Hospital systems face continued challenges from ransomware attack

The Department of Health & Human Services states that it is aware of two, large, multistate hospital systems that are continuing to face significant challenges to operations because of the WannaCry ransomware attack that occurred last month.

“The behaviors that have been reported are typical for environments where the WannaCry scanning virus persists, even though the encryption stage has been blocked by anti-virus, or is not executing,” states a report from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). “The virus can persist even on a machine that has been patched. The virus will not spread to a patched machine, but the attempt to scan can disrupt Windows operating systems when it executes. The particular effect varies according the version of Windows on the device.”

ASPR has prepared additional resources to mitigate the risks of a ransomware attack and steps victims should take.

Researchers study effectiveness of cleaning and disinfectant products on C. difficile spores

A study recently published in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control shows that wipes tend to perform better than sprays with the same active ingredients when trying to eradicate Clostridium difficile spores from surfaces.

The study researchers tested four different products: hydrogen peroxide; glucoprotamin; a mixture of ethanol, propane and N-alkyl amino propyl glycine; and a mixture of didecyldimonium chloride, benzalkonium chloride, polyaminopropyl, biguanide and dimenthicone as active ingredients.

The researchers then used the products in both wipes and spray form to test their efficacy against C. difficile spores. Overall, the wipes performed better than the sprays with the same active ingredient.