In an ever-changing industry, one element that remains central in healthcare is the patient experience. According to data from Press Ganey, patient experience is five times more likely to influence brand loyalty than any marketing strategy, a critical consideration with the rise of consumerism and increasing competition in healthcare. Additionally, with shifting payment models, hospitals’ reimbursement can change based on patient experience scores and adverse events in patient care, such as re-admittance within 30 days.
While there are obvious factors impacting a patient’s experience such as interaction with clinical staff, there are a number of clinical and operational aspects behind the scenes that are important as well, including efforts to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and delays in care, and improving coordination across a patient’s care team.
Reducing infections, increasing patient safety
When a patient enters the hospital, the expectation is often to address an issue, not acquire another, such as an HAI. Despite that, roughly 2 million patients suffer an HAI each year, nearly 90,000 of whom do not survive. Not only can HAIs such as SSIs, central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) prolong hospital stays, patients can suffer devastating emotional, financial, and medical consequences.
Luckily, there are measures a hospital can take to lower the incidence of HAIs in their facility and help to ensure a positive patient experience. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides an Infection and Prevention Control Assessment Tool that can help hospitals set up more effective infection prevention programs. The tool covers areas including:
- Hand hygiene
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Prevention of a variety of HAIs
- Environmental Cleaning
- Device reprocessing
PPE plays an important role in preventing HAIs, so ensure you have the right equipment to follow maximal sterile barrier precautions as outlined in the hospital’s established protocol, and that staff have been trained on proper donning and doffing techniques.