How An Acute-Care Hos­pi­tal Re­duced C. diff by 40% and Saved Money

Modern Healthcare - - PERSPECTIVES -

“With half of all hos­pi­tals lack­ing an an­tibi­otic stew­ard­ship pol­icy, more providers need to take a mul­ti­pronged ap­proach to low­er­ing the preva­lence of HAIs.”

Hos­pi­tal-ac­quired in­fec­tions (HAIs) are the fourth lead­ing cause of death in the United States. In par­tic­u­lar, the promi­nence and sever­ity of hos­pi­tal­based C. dif­fi­cile in­fec­tions has in­creased for over a decade, caus­ing un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing for mil­lions of pa­tients and fi­nan­cial strain to both fam­i­lies and hos­pi­tals.

Stud­ies show the loss to hos­pi­tals per in­fec­tion can range from a few thou­sand to $34,000 in to­tal costs. Tra­di­tional ap­proaches to pre­vent trans­mis­sion fo­cus on en­vi­ron­men­tal and hand hy­giene, as well as use of an­tibi­otics. Th­ese ef­forts have yielded mixed re­sults and forced hos­pi­tals to re­think how to re­verse this ris­ing trend. For­tu­nately, UV light dis­in­fec­tion tech­nol­ogy is avail­able to aug­ment tra­di­tional ap­proaches. Used to­gether, dra­matic re­duc­tions in hos­pi­tal in­fec­tion rates can be achieved.

One hos­pi­tal de­cided to tackle the in­fec­tion prob­lem by pi­lot­ing UV light dis­in­fec­tion tech­nol­ogy in com­bi­na­tion with a new an­tibi­otic stew­ard­ship pro­gram. Ini­tial ef­forts were met with op­er­a­tional chal­lenges, com­pelling hos­pi­tal staff to gain a deeper un­der­stand­ing of op­er­a­tions, poli­cies and in­fec­tion con­trol pro­to­cols. Its story is a re­minder that new tech­nol­ogy alone will rarely solve crit­i­cal and vex­ing prob­lems, and that with half of all hos­pi­tals lack­ing an an­tibi­otic stew­ard­ship pol­icy, more providers need to take a multi-pronged ap­proach to low­er­ing the preva­lence of HAIs.

Fol­low­ing the ini­tial chal­lenges, the hos­pi­tal staff per­se­vered. This story chron­i­cles how The Val­ley Hos­pi­tal in Ridgewood, N.J., im­proved hos­pi­tal in­fec­tion rates.

Read the story and dis­cover:

• The chal­lenge fac­ing the hos­pi­tal’s es­ca­lat­ing in­fec­tion rate

• The jour­ney to solve this chal­lenge

• The so­lu­tions they con­tem­plated and ul­ti­mately chose

• The im­ple­men­ta­tion chal­lenges

• The star­tling re­sults

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