Nearly 2 million healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) occur annually in acute-care hospitals, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and billions of dollars lost to the healthcare system. These numbers are a clear cry for all hospitals and healthcare centers to have effective IP programs in place, but C-suites are often too busy to see why their hospital should be investing in better Infection Prevention programs, and how an IP plan can do more than just clean rooms. Here are five ways to convince them:
#1 Financial Motivation
The bottom line is moving the needle when it comes to appropriate implementation of infection prevention and control. The total direct, indirect and non-medical social costs of HAIs are estimated between $96 billion to $147 billion annually, including loss of work, legal costs and other patient factors. But a report by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention shows that prevention efforts by a hospital’s IP team can actually reduce ICU costs by between $163,000 and $175,000 per patient for two of the most common HAIs (CLABSI & VAP). This significant reduction in cost, as well as the reduction of HAIs at your hospital, will strengthen your bottom line and improve the quality of care your patients receive.
Why do your patients decide whether to visit your hospital or your competitor’s? Remaining compliant with industry standards has a lot to do with it. In a study published in the American Journal of Medicine to determine consumers’ attitudes about health care-acquired infections (HAIs) and hand hygiene practices, 94% of respondents rated environmental cleanliness as a very important factor when choosing a hospital. 93% of respondents said hospital infection rates would influence decision making. The study concluded that consumers will use infection data in selecting and/or leaving a hospital system, and that consumers are ready to be empowered with information to ensure a positive outcome.
Because UV light kills dangerous microorganisms when exposed to UV light for a specific length of time and intensity (which equals a dose), the RD-UVC System™ can disinfect all rooms and patient areas, especially high-impact areas and busy patient rooms. Deploying your IP plan across your entire hospital with the RD UVC System™ will increase your IP levels and attract the attention of consumers who use infection prevention numbers when choosing a hospital or healthcare center.
C-suites are naturally adept at marketing their companies. So they shouldn’t be surprised to read that marketing your IP plan is a smart and effective way to attract new patients. According to Infection Control Today, a key step in building an IP program is to “market your accomplishments and demonstrate value to all stakeholders.” By marketing your strong track record of Infection Prevention through digital marketing campaigns, you can talk directly to your audience with content they care about, and set your hospital apart as a leader in infection prevention services.
There are many effective IP strategies you can employ. Bundling several IP interventions together, like hand hygiene, traditional manual cleaning and UVC technology, is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce HAIs when the proper protocols are in place and effectively monitored. For example, Rochester General Hospital created a UVC bundle to tackle rising C. difficile rates, resulting in a 56% reduction between 2011 and 2015 and a 46% reduction between 2012 and 2015 in their New York State risk-adjusted rates. C-suites may already have invested in hand hygiene strategies or newer technology that tracks hand hygiene in real-time, but a bundled approach that includes UVC technology can provide a greater ROI. Simply put, if leadership at your hospital has invested in one strategy, they need to support complementary strategies to truly get the most bang for their buck.