It’s been a momentous week for Extending the Cure. On Tuesday, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and 25 other national health organizations, we issued a joint consensus statement on the need to preserve antibiotic effectiveness and combat resistance.

From the angle of a health policy enthusiast, one of the most interesting moments in this year’s inaugural IDWeek was the oral abstract session on the Impact of National Policy on HAI Reporting and Prevention.

An interesting conversation took place this week between Ezra Klein (Washington Post), Kevin Outterson (The Incidental Economist), and Megan McArdle (The Atlantic) on the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria

Yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, flanked by leaders of major hospitals, private companies, and medical associations, unveiled Partnership for Patients – an initiative that aims to improve healthcare quality by integration of patient care, widescale implementation of evidence-based best practices for reducing medical errors and adverse events, and utilization of health information technology. Concretely, the initiative has two initial aspirations:  reducing the

Would a combination of bleach and ultraviolet light sanitize hospital rooms?  How might medical practitioners distinguish patients who need antibiotics from those who do not?  What, if any, strategy could be implemented to anticipate when medical devices increase a patient’s risk of infection?  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has awarded $10 million to

Last week we officially launched the Pneumococcal Modeling (PneuMOD) Project on the CDDEP website. Publications and tools will be continually added as the project proceeds, but to kick things off we would like to provide the necessary background for the project and examine the global burden and epidemiology of pneumococcal diseases.

As I’m sure many of you know, last night President Obama and ABC News hosted a discussion on the current state of health care in America. That reform is needed was universally supported. Debate, for the most part, centered on how much of a role government should play in delivery of care.

Source: pfala

The current recession has been one of the worst economic slumps in recent memory, and hospitals have been not been immune from the slump. Like many businesses today, hospitals have been cutting fixed costs as deeply as they can, and one of the casualties of this cost cutting is infection control, says a recent study from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

How to best control resistance is a controversial matter. Existing recommendations do not always agree and some recommendations are conflicting. One clear example is the key components of the Swedish intervention mentioned in Maya's recent post—isolation and contact tracing. In this specific study, children were isolated from day-care, sometimes up to a year.

This impressive study by ETC researcher Patricia Geli and colleagues at the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control provides a great illustration of cost versus benefit in public health. Researchers regularly screened all children in day care centers in two study areas for a resistant form of Penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae, and sent children colonized with the bacteria home for over a month on average.

Would hospitals with relatively poor infection control practices benefit from knowing that their operations might be subject to inspection at any time? Washington state seems to think so and will begin conducting surprise inspections at Washington hospitals at least once every 18 months to check on compliance with infection control standards and other patient safety guidelines.

Will the swine flu epidemic emanating from Mexico be the next great pandemic that everyone fears? It is hard to say. The Mexican government seems to be doing all it can to limit the spread of the infection, and travel advisories attest that other governments are taking this seriously as well. The high number of deaths in Mexico is worrisome, but the low number of hospitalizations elsewhere is encouraging. With significant trade and travel, if this is the start of a new pandemic, it is likely that this virus will spread faster than any previous pandemic.

Five years, the work of multitudes and not a little luck, and the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria—AMFm—is almost open for business with $220 million in the bank.  The five years dates from a 2004 report produced by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), by a committee chaired by Kenneth Arrow the well respected U.S.

We're in Atlanta this weekend, where Extending the Cure and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Get Smart for Healthcare campaign are hosting a meeting on inpatient antimicrobial use.

The goal is optimizing antibiotic use in health care facilities so that susceptible bugs don't become resistant.

About 2 in 3 Medicare beneficiaries who were discharged into the community following hospitalization in 2003 or 2004 were rehospitalized or died within a year, according to a recent New England Journal of Medicine article. Only 10% of the rehospitalizations were estimated to have been planned. This highlights the extent to which patients who enter the healthcare system feed back into it.