HealthySole in Hospitals

Healthcare-associated infections (HAI’s) or nosocomial infections are a critical issue for hospitals, however in recent years these infections have proliferated, plagued, and devastated the entire healthcare industry. C-Suite and Infection Control executives consider HAI’s to be an epidemic. Due to increased rates of infection, loss of life to both patients and staff, and the additional financial burden, infection control programs are moving aggressively to find solutions to this serious problem.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the average additional direct cost to a hospital to treat a patient who acquires an HAI is over $15,000. On a per-case basis, HAI’s can exceed $150,000 to treat. 5-10% of patients admitted to a hospital for unrelated reasons will contract a nosocomial infection. Data shows there are between 75,000-99,000 deaths from nosocomial infections in the U.S. annually. This means one in every nine patients who acquire a nosocomial infection will die. HAI’s are responsible for 13.6 million additional patient days (8 days per patient) spent in a hospital and nearly 300 deaths per day.

Surgical site infections (SSI’s) are responsible for a large sector of recorded HAI’s and according to an investigation by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), represent 33.7% of the total additional HAI costs to hospitals (Zimlichman 2013). HAI’s are estimated to have a direct cost to the hospital industry of between $35 and $45 billion dollars per annum. The total direct, indirect, and nonmedical costs are estimated to be between $96 and $147 billion annually. These costs are related to patient factors, including but not limited to loss of work, legal charges, family distress, suffering, and reoccurring long-term complications.

In addition, in 2016 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is penalizing 758 hospitals with the highest rates of patient safety incidents (which include HAI’s). Medicare will lower all payments to the penalized hospitals by 1 percent over the course of the federal fiscal year. In total, Medicare estimates the penalties will cost hospitals an additional $364 million. CMS will also adopt two new outcome measures for the new safety domain that will add to fines assessed to net DRG: hospital-onset Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria and Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection. MRSA and C. diff are two of the deadliest and most common HAI’s in the U.S. today.