New Reporting Requirements to Help Reduce Hospital Acquired Infections

Hospital infections are a leading cause of death among patients in American hospitals.

A few simple changes could drastically reduce infection and death:

Keep the surgery ward absolutely sterile

Fumigate the operation theater after every surgery

Autoclave or sterilize all the equipment after every surgery

Use disposal equipment whenever possible

Recovery ward should be kept clean and hygienic

Maintain the hygiene of diabetics and low immunity patients

Keep the necessary emergency drugs at hand to combat the infection effectively and promptly

Train the hospital staff in hygiene maintenance during and after surgeries

Switching from stainless steel to copper fittings could reduce spread of infection by as much as 40% according to recent reports

To tackle this serious menace, the federal government has introduced a new reporting system that will be available to the general public for evaluation. In addition, from 2013, those hospitals that have improper records and fail to follow the norms will face a 2% loss of Medicare funding. Surgery records have to be compulsorily updated and reported till the case is closed. An estimated two million contract hospitals acquired infections and spend about $6.5 billion extra to treat such affected patients.
The hospitals will now have stringent norms to follow and it has been made compulsory that they report all the cases of nosocomial infections or hospital related infections and the number of deaths thereafter. This will give an idea as to which areas and hospitals are more prone tro these types of infections and steps can be taken to curb these. Using faulty catheters, improper sterilization of tracheostomy tubes, and other methods of intervention are the major causes of hospital related infections.

Security Cameras Ensure Hospital Employees Wash Their Hands

Proper hand washing is the easiest way to prevent the spread of illness.

100,000 people die every year from hospital-acquired infections, and many of these could be prevented if more medical workers simply remembered to wash and sanitize their hands.

North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) in Manhasset, NY, is one of only a few hospitals that has decided to take this more drastic measure to increase hygiene levels among medical workers — but it is one that has had incredible success. According to a controlled, peer-reviewed study on the hospital’s video monitoring system recently published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, watching employees through the Big Brother-esque video monitoring system has increased the overall hand washing rate by nearly 1400 percent, taking it from 6.5 percent to nearly 88 percent.

Depressing study about patient safety at hospitals

A new study taken over the last decade indicates that efforts to improve patient safety and cut down on medical errors at hospitals have not had much effect.

The study, conducted from 2002 to 2007 in 10 North Carolina hospitals, found that harm to patients was common and that the number of incidents did not decrease over time. The most common problems were complications from procedures or drugs and hospital-acquired infections.

“It is unlikely that other regions of the country have fared better,” said Dr. Christopher P. Landrigan, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. The study is being published on Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

It is one of the most rigorous efforts to collect data about patient safety since a landmark report in 1999 found that medical mistakes caused as many as 98,000 deaths and more than one million injuries a year in the United States. That report, by the Institute of Medicine, an independent group that advises the government on health matters, led to a national movement to reduce errors and make hospital stays less hazardous to patients’ health.

We’ve just gone through a bruising fight on health care reform, but patient safety is something all of us should be able to agree upon. We need national standards to help reduce medical errors.

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