Medical Construction & Design

NOV-DEC 2017

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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42 Medical Construction & Design | NOV EMBER / DECEMBER 2017 | MCDM AG.COM Reducing the risk of health- care-associated infections and understanding their direct relationship to patient safety are core concerns for health- care systems nationwide. While there are numerous ways HAIs can occur, there are also a growing number of preventive steps and practices health systems can adopt. Every day, healthcare providers are monitoring and revising best practices related to the han- dling of medical equipment and environmental surfaces, and re- ducing exposure to antibiotics. It's important for healthcare systems to develop a compre- hensive strategic plan for stop- ping HAIs in their facilities. The cost of HAIs directly im- pacts a hospital's bottom line. Under the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will no longer reimburse hospitals for events that could have been prevented, including readmis- sions for HAIs. With 5-10 percent of pa- tients acquiring an infection in the hospital each year, or one in 25 patients on any given day, that equates to high costs — $44 billion in additional healthcare costs annually — according to the Health Care Advisory Board. In addition to lost revenue, hospitals and healthcare systems also face reputational damage as CMS now publishes an annual report on the HAC Reduction Program informa- tion for each hospital. Given the potential health, fi nancial and reputation risks of HAIs, every healthcare sys- tem needs to tackle the chal- lenge on all fronts. This means being proactive when it comes to behavior and staff habits, operational considerations, specifi cation of materials and technology. These eff orts are not only critical within inpa- tient environments, includ- ing the ICU and emergency department, but recent eff orts are also focusing on infection control in ambulatory and long-term care facilities. The following is a look at each of the core areas where proactive preventive deci- sions can make an important diff erence and how design can positively infl uence them. CORE AREA #1 Behavior Proper hand hygiene is one of the most eff ective ways to pre- vent HAIs and HACs. Although perhaps the lowest in cost to implement, clinician and staff compliance to infection control protocols might be one of the toughest to achieve. According to the CDC, "on average, healthcare providers clean their hands less than half of the times they should." We know human behavior can change and health systems should invest in helping em- ployees execute proper hand hygiene. However, ensuring these behaviors take place may require extensive staff training or even hiring infection pre- ventionists or infection control managers. Staff and designers can also help hospitals encour- age visitors to promote hand hygiene. Data from The Center for Health Design recently revealed that strategic place- ment and fl ashing light design can double hand hygiene rates for hospital visitors. Given the dangers of HAIs, these invest- ments can have long-term ROI for a health system and its patients. Fighting infection on all fronts by examining 4 core areas BY JOAN SUCHOMEL CHUM: Laura Peters; Pavilion: Craig Dugan c tion on x amining B Y JO AN SUC H O M EL Rising Challenge TO THE

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