Steve Langan shares his experiences of the recent annual meeting of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
Kimberly New, JD BSN RN, President, Tennessee Chapter of the National
Association of Drug Diversion Investigators
It was a valuable experience, attending the CSTE—Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists—annual meeting, June 22-26 in Nashville. We admire the many public health leaders and epidemiologists with whom we have collaborated or brushed shoulders over the years. And we had the opportunity to meet and connect with many others, to put a face to a name or to gain a new connection.
Karen Morrow is a survivor of the 2007 Las Vegas Outbreak and a member of the board of directors of HONOReform
Karen Morrow is a survivor of the 2007 Las Vegas Outbreak
Karen Morrow studies the Safe Injection Practices Weekly Digest and informs her friends and family about outbreaks that happen throughout the country. Because the outbreak that took place in Las Vegas in 2008 was so large and touched every segment of society, people there tend to think similar outbreaks cannot happen anywhere else.
Joseph Perz, DrPH, MA
Quality Standards and Safety Team Leader
for the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
I have held a special place in my heart for Dr. Joe Perz of the CDC for the last 5 years. Even though we have not met in person,
we were introduced in a very peculiar way. You see, Joe was one of the first on the scene to investigate a potential outbreak in Colorado in the spring of 2009. The CDC was called in when it was determined there were two reported cases of hepatitis C from individuals who had surgeries at the same hospital just a day or two apart.
I was one of those two patients. I am eternally grateful to Joe and his colleagues for not only getting to the heart of the outbreak and allowing a broken system to be mended but for offering me a sense of understanding about how I had gotten infected. Along the way, several other healthcare professionals with whom I was in contact scoffed at my insistence that I had been infected during my healthcare procedure—and that many other patients had, too. Ever since this first unusual “meeting,” I have followed the tremendous work of Joe Perz and the CDC’s extraordinary Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP). I’m a fan!
It is my privilege and honor to direct loyal readers of HONOReform’s weekly blog—and all people who are interested in joining us to change healthcare for the better—to this great new series of pages on the CDC website. “Risks of Healthcare-associated Infections from Drug Diversion” is a much- and long-needed resource. I encourage all healthcare workers to review this information—and to share it with colleagues.
Clearly, drug diversion prevention is a complicated issue. Everyone who is involved in this prevention work knows there is much work in many most of our healthcare systems in the United States that needs to be done. To that end, I have joined colleagues on the HONOReform-led Drug Diversion Prevention Committee. One of our goals is to help host a federal meeting in the fall on this issue.
Because of awareness and education efforts like the one developed by Joe Perz and his brilliant and committed colleagues, we are one step closer to an effective national system that will allow these types of never events a thing of the past.
I pledge to do everything I can to support efforts to prevent drug diversion.
Steve Langan, director of HONOReform, discusses the work of Infection Preventionists
Educating the public and reeducating providers on the absolute importance of injection safety has always been, and will always be, at the heart of our mission. We are grateful to representatives of APIC—the Association for Professionals and Infection Control and Epidemiology—and CBIC—the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology—for continuing to be the standard bearers of all aspects of healthcare associated infection prevention. This includes infections that are transmitted when a healthcare worker violates one or more injection safety principles. read more
Lauren is one of many Coloradans infected with Hepatitis C from a hospital outbreak in 2009.
Is your doctor addicted to drugs?
A scary question to ask, but one which has become necessary. And not just your doctor, but any other medical professional who might come into contact with controlled substances. I am not a pessimist by nature. I am a pessimist by experience.
Cathy Cassata takes an in-depth look not only at the problem, but also the solutions in her article posted a couple of weeks ago at TheFix.com.
I love this solution-focused approach, like Pete Eisler’s USA Today article from April, these pieces are not just the cold, hard facts, they include an education component so the average reader might take away tips to keep themselves safe. read more