Hospitals and other healthcare organizations must meet a lengthy, complex, and constantly evolving set of standards and requirements. These include federal, state, and local regulations, as well as industry certification/accreditation standards, and requirements related to receiving payment benefits from Medicare, Medicaid, and some private insurance payers.
Part of the compliance process involves regular inspections and surveys. The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) maintains oversight for compliance with the agency’s health and safety standards for facilities that service Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, including required inspections. Likewise, the Joint Commission conducts on-site surveys/inspections as part of its accreditation process.
One area of hospital operations that receives an increasing amount of attention in these inspections is infection control. Hospital-acquired infections or healthcare associated infections (HAI) are of significant concern when it comes to improving healthcare outcomes and reducing costs.
When patients contract a secondary infection in the hospital, they are kept in the hospital longer in order to effectively treat the infection. That increases the average length of stay, puts the patient at increased risk, and increases the cost of care.
If a hospital performs poorly on infection control, there is a lot at stake. Hospitals in the bottom 25% when it comes to preventable conditions such as HAIs are subject to a 1% reduction in Medicare revenues. In 2017, 769 hospitals saw their Medicare drop because of their high rates of hospital-acquired conditions.
The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that hospitals could lose as much as $430 million because of such penalties.
In this e-book, we will explain important techniques for infection prevention and control in the healthcare sector. We will also describe how innovations in the design of handheld barcode scanning devices, such as anti-microbial materials and wireless charging, can improve the safety of hospital barcode scanning applications.
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