Not all innovations are expensive or high-tech. Outside Philadelphia, a hospital turned to a cheap and simple solution for a complicated and common problem. Every hospital in the nation is working to prevent the spread of C. difficile, a dangerous infection that patients often pick up during hospital stays. It’s one of those things that make people fear going to the hospital, and make health care more expensive. But Holy Redeemer hospital found a grocery-store solution: yogurt. Dietitians encouraged potentially vulnerable patients to start eating yogurt, which contains healthy digestive bacteria. Infection rates fell by about two thirds, and the program earned an Innovation Award from the Hospital and Health system Association of Pennsylvania. It could be a big step toward cutting the 337,000 yearly cases of C. diff in U.S. hospitals.
The Next Big Thing in Controlling Infectious Disease Is in Your Fridge