Healthcare is a ever changing market and with it comes a whole list of challenges you will need to address. Add to this daunting task, each department will have their own additional challenges to solve. What are the “must” items you need to address? If I were to narrow it down to a good starting point, learn these two terms:
HAI – Hospital Acquired Infections
What is this?
Infection acquired during the stay of a patient. Prior to 2008, the patient or insurance company paid for all infections, including HAI (Hospital Acquired Infections). This is no longer the case. Today, the hospital is required to absorb this as a cost. The HAI rates for every hospital are now being reported and published to the web. This directly affects a healthcare organization’s admission rates.
HAI’s come in four main categories:
- urinary tract infection, usually catheter-associated;
- surgical-site infection;
- bloodstream infection, usually associated with the use of an intravascular device; and,
- pneumonia, which is usually ventilator-associated.
Why do I care?
Every item introduced into a healthcare environment (physical or process) will be part of the hospital infection control strategy. You must be ready to talk about how your Solution will support their efforts. If you do not, they will be polite and listen to your presentation (because they are polite people), but they will not purchase your solution.
Patient Satisfaction Rating
What is this?
HCAHPS, which stands for Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems, is a government survey for measuring patient satisfaction at hospitals across the country. Hospitals provide each inpatient with a survey of 27 questions. The survey also measures patients’ overall rating of the hospital (on a scale of 0 to 10) and their willingness to recommend it.
The categories focus on:
- Communication with doctors and nurses
- Responsiveness of hospital staff, pain management
- Quietness of the hospital environment
- Instructions about medications and discharge
This information is publicly available via the Hospital Quality Alliance Web. Beginning in 2012, these scores began to impact the hospital’s reimbursement, so improving these scores is a major push.
Why do I care?
While talking to your client about your solution, if you can present different ways your solution can improve their scores, you will have a captive audience. For example, maybe your solution integrates a messaging system to improve communication – make this part of your presentation and point it out.
These are just two in a long laundry list of information you will need to become versed. But these two challenges affect every area of the hospitals and if you can start with these, you can pick up on the others as work your way through each department.