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Medical/Health Care Errors Archives

3 Out Of 20 Gastrointestinal Scopes Improperly Cleaned, Contaminated With 'Bio Dirt'

 It might be time to start treating endoscopes like tattoo needles -- making sure  only unused ones go into your body -- because a new study has found that three  out of every 20 gastrointenstinal (GI) endoscopes were improperly cleaned and  found to harbor "bio dirt," including cells, matter, and bacteria leftover from  other patients. 

The study was conducted at five hospitals across the United States.  Researchers from 3M's Infection Prevention Division examined 275 flexible  endoscopes. Types examined include ones inserted through the mouth, such as  duodenoscopes, which examine the first section of the small intestine, and  gastroscopes, which look at the stomach. Researchers also inspected  colonoscopies, which are inserted through the anus to examine the colon. They  found that 30 percent of duodenoscopes, 24 percent of gastroscopes, and 3  percent of colonoscopies didn't pass a cleanliness rating test.

Reducing harm through medication reconciliation

Dr. Jeffrey L. Schnipper 

Dr. Schnipper, director of clinical research for the hospitalist service at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, is the principal investigator for the Multi-Center Medication Reconciliation Quality Improvement Study (MARQUIS). The 3-year study seeks to improve the way medications are prescribed, documented, and reconciled at admission and discharge to the hospital. MARQUIS, which was launched in 2010, is sponsored by the Society of Hospital Medicine and is funded by a $1.5-million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

One-third of patients with hospital-acquired infections are readmitted within 1 year

Hospital readmissions can be costly. In one year alone, 20 percent of Medicare patients readmitted within 30 days of hospital discharge cost an estimated $17.4 billion. Patients infected with one of three strains of bacteria are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital after discharge, according to a new study.  Researchers looked back over an 8-year period to identify patients admitted to the hospital, who had a positive bacterial culture result 48 hours or longer after their arrival at the hospital. The focus was on three common hospital-acquired infections: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and Clostridium difficile. The researchers analyzed the time to hospital readmission after discharge for all adults admitted to the hospital.

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