Posted on May 13, 2015
Increased regulatory focus and changes in payment structures have made infection prevention a high-profile objective in hospitals today—and necessitates a new look at the infrastructure that supports the infection prevention department.
Hospitals that previously considered infection prevention primarily a reporting function may have been satisfied with paper-driven systems and with infection preventionists (IPs) spending the majority of their time collating data, manually cross-checking lab results and reporting data retrospectively to the Infection Control Committee and NHSN. But too much is at stake for hospitals to count on slow, manual efforts to achieve the reductions in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) that they want and need for patient safety sake.
A growing number of hospitals recognize that they need electronic surveillance to identify potential infections and at-risk patients in real time so that they can quickly implement appropriate interventions/precautions, provide quality care, and minimize the spread of communicable diseases, while controlling costs.
With the potential for citations, exclusion from payer programs, fines and reimbursement penalties as well as emerging national requirements for high-performing infection prevention programs, hospitals have more reasons than ever to adopt electronic-assisted surveillance systems that can:
1) transform the clinician’s workflow to be more productive and more sensitive in identifying new intervention opportunities; 2) support efficient and timely electronic reporting of aggregate data to NHSN; 3) augment internal quality improvement efforts at the point of care with increased levels of accountability.
1. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Hospital Infection Control Worksheet.
2. McKinney M. Hospitals focus on antibiotic overuse as CMS prepares new mandate. December 20, 2014.
3. The White House. National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. March 2015.