With Money at Risk, Hospitals Push Staff to Wash Hands

Tom Emerick, Host of Cracking Health Costs
Tom Emerick, Host of Cracking Health Costs

Thus reads a headline in the NYT by Anemona Hartocollis. (Yes, I spelled her name correctly.)

Historically, hospitals could actually make more income and profit when a patient has a complication such as a nosocomial infection (i.e., an infection acquired in a hospital). That is one more reason not to be admitted to a hospital unless you positively have no other option.

Now that Medicare will be penalizing hospitals when a patient gets a hospital acquired infection, hospitals are focusing on reducing infections in a more serious way.

Per the article, “…the incentive to do something is strong: under new federal rules, hospitals will lose Medicare money when patients get preventable infections.”   

Further, “Studies have shown that without encouragement, hospital workers wash their hands as little as 30 percent of the time that they interact with patients.”  

Click here to read the full article.

First Posted at Cracking Health Costs on 5/31/2013