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