As a healthcare professional, you deal with a unique set of challenges in your daily work.
In your mission to help patients live healthier, happier, longer lives, you fight against unseen challenges and dangers.
One of the biggest threats to a productive healthcare practice is invisible to the naked eye:
Not only do HAIs threaten the health of patients, but also they threaten the reputation of medical facilities, the hard work you and your team have made to help patients get well, and your facility’s ability to stay afloat.
At GermBlast, we’re here to fight alongside you and your dedicated team of healthcare professionals to reduce the number of HAIs at every possible opportunity.
The Threat of Healthcare-Associated Infections
Healthcare-associated infections – also referred to as nosocomial infections or hospital-acquired infections – are extremely common in American healthcare facilities. The devastating fact is that they can lead to long-term harm and even death… thankfully, they can be prevented.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection” every day. To track and combat HAIs, the CDC established the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), which is now the nation’s most widely used HAI tracking system.
In 2011, there were approximately 722,000 nosocomial infections (infections acquired while in the hospital) in acute care hospitals around the country. As a result, “about 75,000 patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations.”
These figures are not only staggering, but they’re also heartbreaking, especially for the healthcare professionals who take such meticulous care to prevent the spread of infection from patient to patient. Unfortunately, when you can’t see the enemy, sometimes harmful viruses and bacteria can sneak by even the most watchful eye.
Understanding the Legislature
Providing care to an ill patient is a very personal and meaningful experience, which makes it easy to forget about all the red tape healthcare professionals have to consider in their day to day work.
In 2015, the CDC kicked off its HAI Action Plan to strategically reduce – and potentially eliminate – the rate of healthcare-associated infections. In 2018, the federal government penalized 751 hospitals with decreased Medicare payments for having HAI rates that were too high.
Thanks to the new CDC guidelines and the hard work of healthcare facilities around the country, there has been a significant decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated UTIs, surgical site infections, MRSA, and Clostridium difficile infections.
However, there is more we can all do to combat HAIs, keep patients safe, and work toward an HAI-free healthcare environment.
Fighting HAIs Together
It’s hard enough to get some patients to come in to see a doctor when they are ill or showing signs of chronic illness. Unfortunately, many patients who need help are in denial and would rather not face the possibility of a healthcare professional confirming their deepest fears.
That’s why it’s incredibly important to build and maintain trust with patients once we do get them through the door. Healthcare professionals are talented men and women who put others first in order to save lives and build healthier communities. However, the invisible threat of HAIs can undermine that valuable relationship.
At GermBlast, we’re fiercely passionate about helping patients recover without the threat of HAIs and helping healthcare professionals like you do your work without healthcare-associated infections destroying all the progress you’ve made.
In your daily work with patients, there are several habits you can form that will make a massive impact on their health and safety, as well as your own. Of course, as a healthcare professional, you know the importance of washing your hands before and after treating a patient, wearing gloves, and disinfecting surfaces frequently.
However, over time, it’s easy to fall into the habit of making occasional exceptions to these rules or thinking that one is somehow immune to carrying infections due to being a healthcare professional with years of expertise.
By creating an organizational culture focused on decreasing HAIs, you can do even more to help your patients every day. Remind your team members when you see them forgetting to wear gloves; encourage your staff to use checklists to prevent forgetting important infection-prevention steps; and post infection-prevention posters in common areas in order to reinforce that culture. Together, you and your team can be heroes to a vulnerable patient.
GermBlast partners with healthcare facilities by providing another means of preventing healthcare-associated infections. The GermBlast disinfection service for environments and GermBlast Equipment Cleaning for mobile equipment give healthcare providers the confidence that their working areas and tools are safe for their patients and themselves.
Together, we can reduce the threat of healthcare-associated infections and improve patient-physician relationships.
What are you and your team doing to reduce healthcare-associated infections at your facility? Starting a dialogue about this important issue is one of the best ways you can help your patients and colleagues band together to keep the fight against infection outside the body.