October 18, 2016

Copper Is The Simple Solution To Hospital Infections

Copper Sink Hospital Health Bacteria InfectionHospitals are a center for bacterial infections; people sometimes leave with a bacterial infection that they did not have before entering the hospital. The 2011 Health Grades Hospital Quality in America Study stated that the medical harm caused in the United States led to over 40,000 harmful errors each day, causing hundreds of millions in damages [1]. It is essential that there are efforts made in order to reduce this number. Some of this can be rectified by maintaining higher levels of cleanliness in a hospital, but there is always human error. Recent studies based on common knowledge has yielded a unique new approach.

In an article by the New York Times, a new study performed by the American Journal of Infection Control was reviewed. It determined that “installing copper equipment in hospital rooms may be a good way to reduce infections” [2]. Historically, copper has been used to sanitize water and clean wounds. Researchers arrived at a more scientific conclusion by comparing the abundance of bacteria on commonly touched equipment made of copper and commonly touched equipment made of more common materials (metal, porcelain, plastic, etc.). After contamination researchers took swabs of this equipment (toilet flush levers, door handles, light switches, etc.) and tried growing the bacteria in the lab.

The results indicated that the copper fixtures had as much as 98% less bacteria on them, and on half of the swabs taken from the copper fixtures did not grow any additional bacteria.

Although hospital staff have certain procedures for cleansing and sanitizing their environments these new ideas can have a positive effect on improving hospital conditions. Copper fixtures are not yet common in hospital environments but may have a great effect in minimizing bacteria.

[1]Health Grades 2011 Healthcare consumerism and Hospital Quality in America Report. Health Grades. Retrieved from: http://hg-article-center.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/7b/de/dc25d2c94d25ad88c9e1688c9adc/HealthcareConsumerismHospitalQualityReport2011.pdf

[2] Copper Sinks and Faucets May Stem Hospital Infections. Bakalar, Nicholas.  New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/well/copper-sinks-and-faucets-may-stem-hospital-infections.html?ribbon-ad-idx=5&rref=health&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Health&pgtype=article

September 29, 2010

Quality of Care Does Not Mean Patient Satisfaction

All through the United States, there are many hospitals, all of which are evaluated on their quality of care. Certain states, such as Ohio and Michigan have hospitals that are highly rated in quality of care. However, other states like Hawaii are not so fortunate. Surprisingly, the states that are ranked highest in quality care are not always ranked highest in patient satisfaction.

States that were rated highest in quality care include to two previously mentioned Ohio and Michigan, as well as Delaware, Massachusetts and Connecticut. However, the top states for patient satisfaction were Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Alabama and Louisiana.

While high quality of care did not equal high patient satisfaction, most of the states with the lowest ranking for quality of care were also ranked with the lowest patient satisfaction. Lowest among the quality of care were the District of Columbia, Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico and New York. The District of Columbia, Nevada and Hawaii were all also included in the lowest ranked in patient satisfaction, along with Florida and California.

Due to low quality of care and/or low patient satisfaction, many U.S citizens are participating in a practice known as medical tourism. These people are choosing to travel to different countries all over the world to receive treatment. This can be done for a number of different reasons. A person may choose to have a medical procedure in another country because they simply cannot afford to pay the medical costs in the United States. Other people may travel to other countries or even other states because they may feel that the hospitals near them may not be good enough. Another rather popular reason for trying medical tourism is to have a medical procedure that is experimental or not yet allowed in the United States. This has been a very hot topic in media recently especially with people who have Multiple Sclerosis. However, people must also be aware of certain risks. Some countries may not have the same quality of care, but are considerably cheaper. You will have to weigh these risks on your own and make a decision.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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