Proven Solution Addresses CDC’s Concern Regarding Hospital-Acquired Infections
As you may have read, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released updated statistics regarding hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Think of it as nationwide check-up of sorts. For many years, healthcare institutions have been focused on different ways to decrease HAIs, as federal reimbursement initiatives loomed.
So, what does this check-up tell us? Improvements have been made, but additional attention must be paid to this industry-wide problem that adds an additional $45 billion dollars to healthcare costs in the U.S. each year.
From 2011 data published by the CDC: 1 in 25 patients are affected by HAIs while in a facility that the patient assumed was focused on getting them better. Seventy-five thousand families had to bury a loved one because of a healthcare-associated infection. In that year, HAIs caused tremendous pain, longer hospital stays and additional uncertainly for over 700,000 patients in additional to millions of family members.
The good news is there has been a reduction of central line infections by 44% and surgical site infections by 20%. But, as mentioned, 700,000 patients still get infected every year. How many infections are okay? Who is it okay to infect? Does it matter less if it is an elderly patient at the end of life? Does it matter more if it is a mother giving birth to her first child? To these patients and their families, each and every infection matters.
So, it is agreed that each infection matters and that there is no single “silver bullet” available to continue this war against HAIs?
It is time to start thinking differently. It is time to start thinking in terms of multiple levels of protection. From the 2011 data, the CDC reports that the most common infections were due to Clostridium difficile (c. diff) and staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA). That means a concentrated focus on these two organisms alone can lead to several fruitful directions with significant results.
As the CDC report states, one large area in which additional focus is needed covers antibiotic resistance, prescribing practices and consumer education.
In addition to community collaboration, it is imperative to go back to the basics. Employee education, and timely reminders regarding hand hygiene, is one basic method. Hospitals, long-term care facilities and other organizations must take advantage of proven technology, such as UV lighting, in designing safe and effective methods to reduce the number of air-borne pathogens that float among patients, staff and visitors 24/7.
Facilities must work with their Infection Prevention team to ensure their “multi-level of defense” against the spread of infections provides superior protection on a 24/7 basis without interrupting the workflow within the facility or interfering with the recovery process of the patient.
One such proven “level of defense” is now available from Improved Illumination. Improved Illumination had partnered with American Green Technology® to introduce the patented Health Risk Management System (HRMS) for the healthcare industry. The HRMS is a UVC lighting system that is clinically proven to eliminate 99.7% of pathogens that can cause HAIs. The HRMS works unobtrusively, 24/7/365, exchanging and disinfecting the air, right at the source of infection.
The HRMS is designed to use differential pressure, filtration, purification and dilution to simultaneously and unobtrusively neutralize pathogens (including bacteria, viruses and fungi) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at room level.
Employing the CDC’s recommended hierarchy of defense, the HRMS is designed to eliminate pathogens at the source, enhance patient outcomes and significantly reduce administrative, clinical and operational costs.
As the CDC report states, we must go back to focusing on the basics of safe care. Federal initiatives and mandates are just around the corner. The federal government has stepped up on a platform of care and concern for patients. Now is the time and opportunity to show them that 200 deaths each and every day from HAIs is something we can’t live with.
For more information regarding the HRMS, contact Improved Illumination at info @ improvedillumination or at 508-801-9205.