Have procedures and follow them.
The number of MRSA staph infections in hospitals is going up, but it's going down in intensive care units because workers there are rigorously following CDC guidelines.
The good news was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the follow-up came in a press release from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), which works specifically on infections.
The big change came in the treatment of catheters, SHEA said, but there is more to worry about than one bug. SHEA has a full compendium on preventing infections on its Web site.
Another big problem lies in press coverage, including the headline I chose. We do focus too much on the damage caused by one bug, and a single source of its transmission, hospitals.
As the number of antibiotic-resistant bugs increases, and these bugs get into "the wild," as they will, we'll all have to start following new guidelines in our family lives to stay safe.
And in fact, that does not mean we all have to be like Monk, because he relies too much on antibacterial wipes and the physical appearance of cleanliness, rather than germ-resistant cleaning itself.
It's a jungle out there. Hot water, vinegar, bleach and soap are your best defense.