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Hcs 531 - Health Care Organization and Delivery - Technology and Health Care

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Technology and Health Care

HCS/531 Health Care Organization and Delivery

Norma Wright

David Kelly

October 10, 2012


The administration at Metro Hospital, sought out ABC Consulting Firm to find an innovative solution to the problem of hospital acquired infections (HAI), also known as nosocomial infections. Metro Hospital experiences nosocomial infections at a rate similar to all other hospitals in the United States. Metro Hospital had 54 cases of HAI in 2007, extending the stay of the patient an average of 30 days, at a cost to the hospital of $1.5 million in lost revenue. Using new technology, ABC will make recommendations to decrease the incidence of nosocomial infections. "Approximately 2 million patients per year develop HAIs, or about 5% of acute hospital admissions. The last decade alone has seen an estimated 36% increase in HAIs. The estimated 100,000 deaths per year associated with HAIs rank this as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. In a recent study capturing additional underlying expenses, the excess hospital cost of HAIs across the nation was estimated to be between 28 and 45 billion dollars annually" (Stone, 2010, p. 1). ABC Consulting is recommending the use of a relatively new system of patient protection. Effective hand washing is the most effective way of decreasing HAIs, yet compliance is low. By installing a patient protection system, compliance of all health care providers and support staff will greatly increase, and thereby decreasing the incidence of HAIs. By decreasing the incidence of HAIs, Metro Hospital will recover losses, and increase profitability.

The Hand-Hygiene Solution

ABC Consulting recommends the Hand Hygiene Reminder and Monitoring System through the product HanGenix Comprehensive Hand Hygiene Solutions. The system includes a cone of protection around the patient, an alert and monitoring device badge worn by the provider, and a hand washing monitoring system at the sink (Newbower, 2012, p. 1). The concept of HanGenix is simple, yet revolutionary. Massachusetts General Hospital has installed this system, with dynamic results. To hold caregivers accountable for hand washing is the principle behind the system. Compliance can be monitored in real time with the intent of decreasing the incidence of spreading bacteria and other germs between patients.

"Mounted above the patient's bed is an ultrasound device that sends out a signal covering the area of the bed. Another transmitter is mounted on the room's soap or alcohol gel dispenser and knows when the pump has been activated by sensing the vibrations created by the pump's movement. The care giver wears a device that receives a signal from the pump dispenser when they wash their hands or apply sanitizing gel. If the care giver then approaches the bed, the receiver picks up a signal from the bed's transmitter and then relays the information to a database that tracks the care giver's interaction with the patient and their hand sanitation compliance. If the care giver fails to clean their hands, the receiver will emit an audible beep, to remind them to do so, and record the action" (Newbower, 2012, p. 1).

Compliance with hand washing is a continual problem in health care facilities. Documented studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and others consistently show that handwashing is the most effective way to control the spread of nosocomial infections. "Hand hygiene is simple, but it's also repetitive and dull. Infections develop slowly after an initial exposure, and the direct connection between the poor hand hygiene of an individual nurse or physician and a particular patient's infection is rarely obvious or observable" (Haas, 2008, p. 1). In the rush to take care of as many patients as possible, both doctors and nurses tend to skip the important step of hand washing. Often, nurses have to remind each other and the doctor to wash their hands. The irony is that both doctors and nurses know that they need to wash hands between patients, it just takes time to do so. Use of the



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