I recently came across this article in Healthcare Business News. It was written by Denise Murphy and looks at infection prevention from the financial, or business side of the hospital industry. It points out that due to new riembursement protocols put into effect under the Affordable Care Act HAI’s (hospital aquired infections), 70% of which are preventable, will no longer be paid for by insurers or the federal healthcare system. This poses a significantthreat to the bottom line profitability of these institutions.
For an investment of a few pennies a foot hospitals can keep their patients, staff, visitors, and bottom line safe from the dangers of cross contamination. One application of Nano-Shield will inhibit the growth of all microbes for 90 days.
The ROI of infection prevention
Patients who go to the hospital do not plan to get sicker while they are there. But it still happens all the time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 1 out of every 25 patients who enter a hospital contracts a healthcare-associated infection. Tragically, most of these infections are preventable.
In addition to their toll on human lives, these infections represent a heavy financial burden for hospitals as well. As insurers and federal healthcare programs will no longer reimburse for the additional costs of a preventable infection, hospitals must foot the bill for tens of thousands of dollars of care related to each HAI.
There also are intangibles that might not show up immediately on an income statement, but nonetheless have long-term financial consequences. These include negative publicity, which can hurt referrals and result in a loss of community trust. The facility’s accreditation status can take a hit. And the hospital could lose market share to facilities that report fewer infections.
Hospitals have made great strides in reducing infections, but their incidence is still far too high, and their costs must remain a top priority for CEOs and chief financial officers. More than half of HAIs—as many as 70%—are preventable with appropriate infection prevention and control measures.
Infection prevention pays from every possible angle, and success starts at the top. C-level executives set the tone for communications to the entire staff. They must devote the necessary resources and commit to a culture of safety and continuous improvement by setting clear expectations; providing the education, tools and training needed to meet those expectations; and then building and sustaining accountability.
It’s an investment with a powerful return, because it affects the most important bottom line—the number of preventable deaths at your hospital.