The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is optimistic about healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates reported today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the annual National and State Healthcare-associated Infection Progress Report. For the first time, the report details state-specific data about hospital lab-identified methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections.  Findings are based on data submitted by over 14,500 US hospitals through the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

A proactive infection prevention plan implemented widely in a Hong Kong healthcare system was a significant factor preventing the spread of influenza strain A H7N9, otherwise known as Avian flu. The study was published in the January issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

New research shows providing detainees wash cloths treated with a skin cleanser could reduce the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteria in U.S. jails. Researchers looked at the effect on transmission of S. aureus of using wash cloths treated with chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) compared with wash cloths with only plain water in detainees at Dallas County Jail. The study was published in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

A new study finds a decrease in an emergent strain of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) that is resistant to last line defense antibiotics. Researchers examined the prevalence of vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) infections in southeastern Michigan, where the majority of these infections have occurred in the U.S. The study is published in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is dedicated to the prevention of infection in healthcare settings, including the protection of  healthcare personnel (HCP) who provide care to patients with known or suspected Ebola virus disease (EVD). SHEA supports the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be used by HCP caring for patients with EVD. This guidance is consistent with the established science regarding how EVD is transmitted.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) today recognized the University of Vermont Medical Center with the 2014 Partnership in Prevention Award for achieving sustainable improvements toward eliminating healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

Throughout hospitals and other healthcare facilities, antibiotic overuse and misuse threatens the efficacy of one of medicine's most valuable lifesaving tools.  Concurrently, research and development for new antibiotics has been limited – creating a problem for generations to come.  The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other partners in "Get Smart about Antibiotics Week" to highlight this alarming issue and raise awareness of strategies and programs to stop and reverse these trends.

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society (PIDS), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) and the Center for Global Health Policy remain opposed to mandatory quarantines being imposed on asymptomatic healthcare workers returning from Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa.

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) remains deeply concerned about the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak. The recent news about Dr. Craig Spencer’s infection, along with the infections of the many other healthcare personnel (HCP) who have risked their lives to provide care during this tragic outbreak, illustrates how difficult it is to protect HCP serving patients with severe EVD.

New research found tracking influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel through an automated system increased vaccination compliance and reduced workload burden on human resources and occupational health staff. The study is published in the November issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

New research shows vulnerable patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) who received enhanced oral care from a dentist were at significantly less risk for developing a lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), like ventilator-associated pneumonia, during their stay. The study was published in the November issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is concerned by recent confirmation of Ebola contracted by a healthcare worker treating an Ebola patient at Texas Presbyterian Hospital.  Our thoughts are with the healthcare worker and her family, as well as the team of healthcare providers at Texas Presbyterian, as they work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services to prevent further spread of the disease.

Since the 2010 publication of the "SHEA Guideline for the Management of Healthcare Workers Who Are Infected with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and/or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)" (1), additional strides have been made in the therapy of these three bloodborne pathogens. Effective treatments offer the promise of sustained virologic control, further reducing the already exceedingly small risk of transmission from an infected healthcare provider to a patient. The guideline's multidisciplinary authoring group affirms that 1) infected providers who are not conducting invasive procedures present virtually no risk to their patients, 2) providers with well‐controlled infection and who conform to specific infection prevention practices may safely perform invasive procedures, and 3) a healthcare provider's status should not be the sole determinant in his or her ability to perform duties, including exposure‐prone procedures.

Recognizing the need to address inappropriate antibiotic use as a major driver of antibiotic resistance, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) applauds the state of California for stepping up and mandating hospitals in the state implement an Antimicrobial Stewardship policy and develop a physician-supervised, multidisciplinary Antimicrobial Stewardship committee by July 2015. SHEA in particular would like to recognize California State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) for championing this cause and authoring the legislation (S.B. 1311).

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) welcomes  President Obama's Executive Order released last week. The order creates a National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and announced of a $20 million prize to facilitate the development of rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests to identify highly resistant bacteria sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the Food and Drug Administration. SHEA believes there is no greater threat to modern medicine than losing the effectiveness of antibiotics.

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is pleased to see the Obama Administration's attention and support for addressing antimicrobial resistance – a crisis that has profound impact on how we practice modern medicine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Premier, Inc. have released new research on the widespread use of unnecessary and duplicative antibiotics in U.S. hospitals, which could have led to an estimated $163 million in excess costs. The inappropriate use of antibiotics can increase risk to patient safety, reduce the efficacy of these drugs and drive up avoidable healthcare costs. The study is published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

Nationally, hand hygiene adherence by healthcare workers remains staggeringly low despite its critical importance in infection control. A study in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), found that healthcare workers' adherence to hand hygiene is better when other workers are nearby.

Bacteria that cause life-threatening bloodstream infections in critically ill patients may be growing increasingly resistant to a common hospital antiseptic, according to a recent study led by investigators at Johns Hopkins. The study was published in the September issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Colonization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) allows people in the community to unknowingly harbor and spread this life-threatening bacteria. The inside of the front of the nose is where this bacteria is most predominant, but new research shows nearly all colonized individuals have this bacteria living in other body sites. The study was published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.