Hospital Acquired Infection update

Hospital Acquired Infection update

  • Posted On : 11/12/2019 10:40 AM

Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) are also known as nosocomial infections. These infections occur when patients are in the care of a healthcare facility, from receiving treatment for medical complications to surgical procedures. However, there is a difference between the two different types of infections. 

A nosocomial infection already exists in a certain location while a HAI is not present before someone is under medical care. This means a person who comes into a hospital with a dormant infection is someone who contracted a nosocomial infection versus a HAI. 

In the healthcare industry, HAIs are such a common occurrence that can happen to anyone each and everyday. A number of research studies show that patients contract HAIs from items that were not sterilized properly, can catch superbugs and even more. 

These infections are so common that over 290,000 people contracted a HAI during their stay at a healthcare facility. 1 in 25 patients acquire a HAI during their stay at a healthcare facility which causes lower patient experience and rises the cost of readmission rates within the healthcare facility. 

On the other hand, while these statistics are staggering (and honestly gross) the Center for Disease Control recently released a new research study showing some positive results when it comes to HAIs. 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released their National and State Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) Profess Report that show throughout the entire nation, HAIs are being reduced and more programs and technology to prevent these infections are on the rise! 

Since 2017, these are the following HAIs that are slowly being reduced: 

  • Nine percent in central line- associated bloodstream infections
  • Eight percent in catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • 12 percent decrease in hospital on-set C. difficile infections

The latest report states that one in 31 U.S. patients will contract one infection during their stay at a healthcare facility, but with new methodologies and technology, these infections are slowly decreasing. 

How are healthcare systems ensuring that HAIs continue to be reduced? 

Launch of new programs

One of the most common things that everyone does multiple times a day is still trying to be implemented correctly in healthcare facilities. Handwashing is so important, especially in the healthcare facility. A lack of hand hygiene is one of the most common reasons that infections and bacteria spreads. 

The largest healthcare system in New Jersey, annually serves five million people. They collected data on hand hygiene with the theory of “If healthcare facilities and workers already know the critical role proper hand hygiene protocol plays in patient safety, quality care and high-reliability, why is it a compliance issue?” This is a great theory to start with. With this in mind the healthcare system implemented goals in regards to hand hygiene. After one year, compliance went up to 42 percent and a decrease in infection was present in the same infection that the CDC reported. 

This is all from washing hands. The next step is making sure items that are deemed ready for surgery are properly sterilized. 

In programs, the next step is to install the proper systems. A traditional storage unit could be wonderful, but it could not be properly protecting these sterilized items. The notion behind sterile storage is that these units are able to keep these items free of bacteria, humidity and can be stored for long periods before being used again; however, with the “traditional” units this is not the case. 

The sterilization processes should kill all forms of bacteria, fungus, spores and harmful organisms. When these items are exposed to humidity or the wrong conditions, this causes these harmful organisms to grow. Healthcare facilities are implementing new storage units and ways of storing their products to keep items sterile in sterile storage units.

The final step is creating a calendar and deploying an environmental disinfection list to ensure all rooms and spaces are properly disinfected and cleaned.  When these spaces are cleaned properly this can help decrease infections from spreading from patient to patient. Everything from the handles in the room to the bedding can spread bacteria. 

In an effort to continue to keep patient satisfaction and experience on the incline while decreasing HAIs and readmission rates, one thing is noticeable, hospitals are behind on their methodologies. 

One way to get ahead of the curve is with a sterile storage from FlowCARE Solutions. For more information, contact us today.

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