To Decolonize, or Not to Decolonize

By |June 5th, 2013|

…  that is the question- at least when it comes to whether to take standard measures to decolonize intensive care patients with antibiotic ointments in their nose to remove Staphylococcus bugs.  Hospital associated infections are a critical public health and healthcare cost problem.  While we’re losing ground in our fight against obesity- we’re making progress [...]

Preventing Healthcare Associated Infections: An AZ Winnable Battle

By |January 4th, 2013|

Healthcare-associated infections are a critical public health challenge in Arizona and in the US. Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are acquired during healthcare treatment and can be devastating and even deadly- and they’re largely preventable. You may have seen the article in last week's Republic about dirty needles and their link to transmission of viruses and drug-resistant superbugs. The article [...]

ADHS’ Disease Detectives

By |July 25th, 2012|

Awhile back, our epidemiology and licensing team of disease detectives including Jason Lempp, Cara Christ, Vinita Oberoi, Jessica Rigler, Ken Komatsu, Kathy McCanna, Connie Belden, Ken Komatsu, and Shoana Anderson learned of a severe case of a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus  (MRSA) through our 24-hour disease reporting system.  Our team quickly contacted the county public health department which immediately began an [...]

New Healthcare Associated Infections Toolkit

By |April 15th, 2011|

Healthcare-associated infections are a critical challenge to public health in Arizona.  Healthcare associated infections are acquired during healthcare treatment and can be devastating and even deadly- importantly, they’re preventable.  At any given time, about 1 in 20 patients have an infection while receiving healthcare treatment in U.S. hospitals, causing up to $33B in excess medical [...]

Healthcare Associated Infections Report

By |March 7th, 2011|

Good news this time.  The number of bloodstream infections in intensive care unit patients with central lines decreased by 58% over the last 10 years according to a new CDC Vital Signs report. This decrease saved 27,000 lives and $1.8B in excess health care costs. Bloodstream infections in patients with central lines can be deadly, [...]

Handwashing Report

By |March 3rd, 2011|

A recent report in Surgery News found that a six-month "process improvement project" that added a simple hand-washing question to the daily ICU checklist decreased the rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections in a surgical ICU.

Infection Prevention in AZ

By |October 22nd, 2010|

Healthcare-associated infections claim more lives in Arizona every year than auto accidents or influenza.  Surprised?  That’s why the Governor issued a proclamation making this week as Infection Prevention week in Arizona- providing us with an opportunity to call attention to one of the CDC’s Winnable Battles-  defeating Healthcare-Associated Infections.  We had a news conference (along with [...]

5 “Winnable Public Health Battles” Infection Control

By |May 24th, 2010|

I was in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago for new health officer orientation and was able to meet with Dr. Frieden (the new head of the CDC) a couple of times.  Each time that we met he referred to a general theme that the CDC will be using over the next 3 years to drive [...]


By |March 3rd, 2010|

Post-surgery infections cost a fortune.  Health care–associated infections cause 1.7 million extended hospitalizations each year.  A study published last week in the Archives of Internal Medicine looked at the clinical and economic costs from these infections which are poorly understood.  The researchers looked at national hospital discharge records to find sepsis (blood borne infections) and [...]