By Jenna Lindsay, BSN, RN
Mitigating risks of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is constantly on the mind of hospital leadership and clinicians alike, and even more so when treating vulnerable patients in isolation care settings. Because these patients can be more contagious and/or susceptible to infection, isolation care requires extra attention to detail to ensure infection prevention protocol compliance is followed.
The good news is, special precautions to better protect this high-risk patient population are gaining the attention of healthcare organizations and manufacturers alike.
Frequently used equipment that can be vectors of cross-contamination – such as rolls of medical tape – are being designed for single-patient use in isolation settings to help decrease the risk of pathogen transmission. Additionally, leading healthcare organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) specifically recommend single-patient stethoscopes be used for patients in isolation environments.
However, poor quality disposable equipment can make it difficult for clinicians to comply with isolation protocols. This is especially true for important diagnostic tools, such as stethoscopes, that play a critical role in patient care decisions. [Read more…]