Infection control is one of the major challenges that healthcare organizations face, and for which they are actively looking for solutions. There is no silver bullet, but rather a combination of strategies to address the issue. But, before diving into solutions, let me rattle off some information to get you in the right frame of mind:
- 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.
- 35-45 billion dollars is the estimated cost to hospitals to treat Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) in 2012 – CDC report march 2009.
- Beginning in 2012, HCAHPS scores began to impact the hospital’s reimbursement, so improving these scores will be a major push.
- Infections acquired during hospital stays (in the USA) kill more people than breast cancer, auto accidents and AIDS combined.
- The Center of Disease Control and Prevention has chosen HAI as one of the “6 winnable battles” within today’s healthcare systems.
- The HAI rates for every hospital are now being reported and published to the web. This directly affects a healthcare organization’s admission rates.
So the gauntlet has been thrown and the healthcare industry must pick it up. Your healthcare clients are searching for solutions that can have a direct impact on their infection rates. As I said, there is no silver bullet; however what is important, is that you understand your client’s strategy. Your solution should at the very least not hinder this strategy and even better should promote and contribute to this strategy. Think about how your solution will work inside your client’s workflow. How you look at how your solution can promote your clients infection control strategy. If you are proposing a product, can your product help combat infections from growth? Is your product a ‘touch point” for the staff or the patient? Can you design your product to limit the chance of infection?