Healthcare Acquired Infections
HAI’s are illnesses patients get in a healthcare facility while being treated for something else.
According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 1.7 million people in the US contract an HAI every year, or 1 out of every 25 patients. Of those, an estimated 98,000 people die due to HAI’s. The estimated cost to the healthcare system is $45 Billion annually.
HAI’s are preventable, and the government has stepped in to ensure this issue is being address. In 2009, the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) stopped paying reimbursement for patients who acquired an HAI during their hospital stay. In 2011, CMS added additional fines for facilities with high rates of infection. The effects of reduced reimbursements have had a serious affect on facilities some of whom have seen a reduction of up to 40% of their total revenue due to lost reimbursement.
Addressing the issue of infection control is a priority. Hospitals are looking for innovative ideas and solutions that support existing infection control protocol.