Monday, July 13, 2020

Collective Experience: Stopping the Routine Use of Contact Precautions for MRSA and VRE in the Hospital


This will certainly not satisfy our critics but our 10+ year collective experience with the de-escalation of contact precautions for the control of endemic MRSA and VRE cannot be fully dismissed. 

Using an interrupted time series study design across 3 academic medical centers, we once again report no negative impact on healthcare associated infection rates following the discontinuation of contact precautions for endemic MRSA and VRE.  Limitations exist, such as full compliance measures data on infection prevention best practices and the absence of surveillance screening cultures for MRSA and VRE colonization.

Our findings are published here in the American Journal of Infection Control.

As always, draw your own conclusions.

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Culture of One-Click Purchasing Should Not Extend Into Healthcare: Why Diagnostic Stewardship Matters


Check out this neat article on diagnostic stewardship by former VCU resident Dr. Sejal Morjaria, now an ID attending at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

I could not agree more, one-click purchasing should not carryover to one click test ordering. Limitations, hard stops and order entry decision support are required to minimize over-testing.  Education and awareness only go so far...

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Coffeeland! A must Read for Coffee Addicts


For addicts of the worlds most widely used drug, this book is a must read. As with many things coveted, there is a dark side.

Coffeeland neatly summarizes the history of coffee production and consumption and weaves a gripping story of capitalism, manipulation and exploitation in El Salvador. Click here for a review of the book in The Guardian.

I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Great (University) Reopening Debate

VCU: Home Institution of the Blogger

Dr. Richard Wenzel, Rebecca Vokes and I  recently submitted a commentary on how to safely reopen universities and colleges to The Chronicle of Higher Education.  It was rejected.  This is not our first rejection nor will it be our last.  No worries, we have submitted the essay elsewhere. I hope to share  it with you soon.

In my meanderings on The Chronicle of Higher Education website, I came across this interesting  debate on  the reopening of universities and colleges, a varied perspective from students, faculty and support staff.

Worth reading, I recommend it.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Is The Purpose of the Peer Review to Detect A Fraud?


Is the purpose of the peer review to detect a fraud or is it to provide critical feedback on scientific papers? My inclination is for the latter.

Two recent retractions hurt the credibility of both the peer review process and eminent medical journals, as published here

In a time of fast and furious COVID-19 related manuscript submissions, we need to balance speedy publication review with quality control. Perhaps this special situation calls for fraud detection, which can be challenging. However, as with the recent case of Surgisphere and the New England Journal of Medicine, as previously blogged, when something seems too good to be true, it probably is a fraud.
Be exceedingly skeptical.

Monday, June 8, 2020

The Viral Power of Twitter for Infectious Diseases


A review of the viral power of Twitter for infectious diseases, pun intended, is found here in Current Infectious Diseases Reports.

No doubt, tweeting is an efficient way to efficiently share information and promote scientific findings. Twitter is also a landmine of medical misinformation.

Tweeting, much like the scalpel or prescription pad, when utilized by the wrong hand, the harm can exceed the good.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Out of Nowhere: Surgisphere- Beware of COVID-19 Guidance From Suspect Data

Source: The Guardian UK

Out of nowhere we learn of Surgisphere, a private US based company that integrates data from 96,000 patients across 1200 hospital around the world.  This sounds too good to be true and is almost certainly a scam. Unfortunately, recent COVID-19 publications in prestigious medical journals based on Surgisphere data influenced the WHO.

This high quality investigative journalism article published in The Guardian shines a revealing light on Surgisphere.

In our zeal to  expand our knowledge on COVID-19 we have compromised on quality and rigor in science. Not our finest hour.

Beware of COVID-19 guidance from suspect data