Controlling and managing the flow of patients in a busy hospital is one of the biggest challenges facing healthcare administrations today. While more patients are a good thing for your bottom line, inefficient patient throughput leads to fewer patients getting the care they need and an inefficient use of resources and assets for your organization—which can lead to a net loss in revenue. Addressing increasing patient demand with limited resources takes good management and skilled tools. Optimizing inpatient throughput is essential to maintaining a smoothly operated healthcare center, but there are no shortcuts ensuring patient safety and IP efficacy.
To achieve effective throughput, hospitals must rely on the power of the right UVC system and the skill of the Environmental Services (EVS) team to implement innovative strategies for cleaning.
Improve Cleaning & Patient Throughput
While manual cleaning is the predominant method of cleaning, research published in the American Journal of Infection Control shows that as many as 50% of surfaces remain contaminated with pathogens, including MRSA, despite regular manual cleaning efforts. Ultraviolet-C (UVC) disinfection is one type of no-touch technology shown to be a successful addition to manual cleaning. The right UVC system can measure, record and report the UVC lethal dosage delivered to each part of any patient room and speed throughput and patient flow by preventing harmful infections from spreading that can keep patients in rooms longer than originally prescribed.
UVC light kills dangerous microorganisms when exposed to UV light for a specific length of time and intensity which equals a specific dose. The right UVC system also measures actual UVC dosage delivered to the targeted areas using multiple sensors throughout the room vs. just using time-based UVC exposure.
After launching a disciplined practice of using RD-UVC machines to supplement cleaning practices, a recent AJIC study shows that Rochester General Hospital saw a 56% reduction of their crude C difficile infection (CDI) rates compared to New York State risk-adjusted rates between 2011-2015. RGH benefited from a 46% reduction between 2012 and 2015 when all available portable equipment was put in rooms for UVC disinfection, and unit common areas were terminally cleaned.
Deploying UVC systems in all patient rooms can speed up throughput by preventing harmful infections from spreading that can keep
patients in rooms longer than originally prescribed. The level of clean that UVC systems provide ensures your team can facilitate the movement of patients in and out of rooms according to the patient schedule without the risk of delay to patient discharge. Further, with UVC systems performing a share of cleaning duties, your team can focus on tactical and logistical steps that speed the patient entry and discharge procedures.
The RD UVC system™ can reduce time spent cleaning patient rooms with its proprietary “Pause and Reposition” feature that allows for the unit to be repositioned to address the more difficult-to-reach parts of the room in a time-effective manner. “Pause and Reposition” can deal with the more pressing areas of a patient room quicker than manual cleaning, which allows hospital staff and patients to access rooms quicker, thus increasing patient turnaround time and throughput. And because the RD UVC system™ automatically captures and reports disinfection data, your team has the proof of compliance data it needs for reporting across all departments. Utilizing UVC disinfection that provides the most direct pathogen-eliminating light possible is a great strategy for high-touch surfaces. Look for a system with multiple sensors that can be placed throughout the room to ensure the most effective dosage is delivered.
Cost Savings from Faster Throughput
A study published in the American Journal on Infection Control looked at a four-year case study at a 528-bed hospital to determine the cost savings that healthcare organizations can achieve by using the right UVC system. The study showed a 56% reduction in C.diff, yielding more than $8M in cost avoidance. Even with only a 20% reduction, and accounting for the cost of UVC startup and operational costs, researchers estimate that UVC could save the average hospital $1.365M annually in healthcare costs.
The cost savings result from a reduction of a myriad of factors: staffing time, disposable equipment costs, emergency room divert time, operating room case cancellations, and CMS penalties, among others. Organizations can also generate revenue through increased patient throughput, increased surgical cases, and increased emergency room visits and admissions. Implementing a UVC-based cleaning strategy is a cost effective way to build on your hospital’s reputation, save money, and improve patient experience.