In posting links we think our readers would find interesting and useful, we are always on the look out for stories in venues other than a healthcare facility setting that echo key issues we face in our industry. Cleaning, cross-contamination, staph infections, etc. are not limited to healthcare settings, of course. Food service, schools, auditoriums, etc., all are victims of these issues. We had a couple of stories this past week which reflected this. One was the E.Coli contamination of shopping cart handles. Another was about avoiding "catching something" when flying. This story is close to my heart this cold and flu season. Last month I did a lot of traveling on planes. I also had a lot of out of town meetings, including attending the MD&M in Anaheim. When I got home from that particular trip, I came down with one nasty cold. I figured after shaking 100 hands during the MD&M one of the other attendees infected me - but I didn't know who to blame :) .
It occurs to me, this is very analogous to a tray of instruments. In a set with dozens of instruments, it takes only one dirty one to lead to infection of the next patient. But tracing the cause to a single instrument amongst dozens is often impossible. This is why it is so critical to make sure the process of cleaning is well monitored and performance is documented - to limit the chance of that one dirty instrument.
Now if only there was such an easy solution to trains, planes and trade shows!