Less tolerance likely
Kudos to the CMS and Modern Healthcare for calling attention to the need for more standardized reporting of healthcare-associated infections to help identify and prevent them (“The infection connection,” Aug. 9, p. 6).
In addition to the transmission methods currently tracked in the National Healthcare Safety Network reporting, research also indicates that healthcare-associated infections can be spread through the environment via patients, surface areas, equipment and the air. Prevention of healthcare-associated infections with traditional cleaning measures has been proven to be insufficient, and we must reevaluate our environmental disinfection strategy to truly effect the change required.
The number of these preventable infections that occurs annually is unacceptable; the good news is that there are new emerging technologies, such as pulsed xenon ultraviolet light, to help effectively remove infections from the hospital environment. Consumer tolerance for healthcare-associated infections is certain to decline as awareness increases.
Mark Stibich Chief scientific officer and epidemiologist Xenex Healthcare Services