Hospitals Fight Against HAIs
After ten Niagara region hospitals were hit with C. diff — four hospitals reported outbreaks and at least 20 people died between May and July - the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions was asking the province to increase funding for housekeeping staff and infection control resources.
According to The Windsor Star, experts believe infections are becoming more resistant to treatment, but patients also believe that hospitals just aren't being kept clean enough.
In some jurisdictions, there's evidence to support both theories. But the question is not whether more housekeeping staff is needed. The question is whether hospitals are properly training the staff they have and following the government's stringent guidelines.
The "three Cs" - clean hands, clean equipment and clean environment - have been drilled into everyone working in our local hospitals, and the results show the drill pays off. Audits are done regularly on handwashing, and when something does happen, a root cause analysis will electronically track who has been in the room, and who has cleaned it.
Experts point out that beginning in 2013, medicare payments in the U.S. will be reduced or stopped if patients are readmitted to hospital suffering from the same condition within 30 days. That will stop what's called "churning," which allows the hospital to charge government and insurance companies more, even if the patient's stay has been prolonged or that patient has returned because of a hospital-acquired infection.
Since 2009, medicare and insurance companies in the U.S. have been reducing or eliminating payments when people get an HAI. The incentive, therefore, is to make sure nobody gets sick while inside.
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