Just Because You are Using a Disinfectant Doesn’t Mean You are Disinfecting: The Business Case for Improving Infection Prevention in ASC’s
Healthcare-associated infections are the fifth leading cause of death in acute-care hospitals in the United States and the fourth leading cause of death in Canada. These infections have a significant impact on patients, families, healthcare institutions and the economy. Healthcare institutions face reductions in reimbursements and their brand equity, and the economy faces billions of dollars in excess healthcare costs. From emerging pathogens to “super bugs,” the public has never been more aware of infection control challenges, which are frequently cited in headlines. Bacteria have become more resistant to antibiotics, which leaves healthcare professionals with limited, or in some cases, no effective treatment options. And emerging pathogens, such as Candida auris, are forcing facilities to look closer at their current practices to ensure staff and patient safety and proper care. With the focus on quality of care, there has never been a more compelling business case for ambulatory surgery centers to focus on preventing infection. While there are several factors that can impact infection rates — including early identification of infected or colonized patients, antibiotic stewardship and hand hygiene — a focus on improved cleaning and disinfection practices is warranted.