5 Things To Know About the Upcoming Flu Season

by Erica Mitchell | October 23 2021

After more than a year of a global pandemic, we can all justify a bit of flu fatigue. We've been so busy dealing with COVID-19, that we may have few emotional resources left to deal with a regular flu season. In today's post, we'll highlight the most important topics to know about the upcoming 2021-22 flu season, helping you save some time and hopefully help plan for a safe and healthy winter.

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What is The Chargemaster?

by Erica Mitchell | October 20 2021

To provide better transparency, hospitals across the nation have publicly posted their prices. The idea was to help consumers make better financial choices about their healthcare and motivate hospitals to make prices more competitive. But as hospitals roll out their price lists, what consumers are accessing is not a neat menu of options, but rather a door to a complex, changing world of codes, acronyms, and abbreviations known as The Chargemaster.

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Who Regulates Hospitals?

by Erica Mitchell | October 15 2021

A hospital is one of the most, if not the most, regulated environments in our nation. Due to the complexity of services, equipment, usage, and upkeep, hospitals and healthcare facilities must meet the standards set by a number of federal, state, and local laws, agencies, and regulators. In today's post, we'll look at some of the more visible groups keeping hospitals safe, as well as some that may surprise you.

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Measuring the Cost-Effectiveness of an HAI Reduction Intervention: Effectiveness

by Erica Mitchell | October 13 2021

Measuring the cost-effectiveness of an infection prevention intervention requires careful translation of complex issues into dollar values: The problems, the possible solutions, the methods of evaluation, and the desired outcomes. The result is a calculation that measures whether or not the costs associated with an intervention are outweighed by the benefits gained by that intervention. Today we will delve into the big ideas behind that final calculation.

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Measuring the Cost-Effectiveness of an HAI Reduction Intervention: Cost

by Erica Mitchell | October 6 2021

When considering an infection prevention intervention, how should the costs be calculated? The first question should be what costs should be calculated? With the myriad of direct, indirect, and intangible costs related to HAIs, where is a facility to start? There are several types of costs to be taken into consideration, and each type will come from different sources. In this post, we will explore how a facility may collect cost data when evaluating a potential new infection intervention.

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Vaccine Mandates: How Will They Affect Your Hospital?

by Erica Mitchell | October 2 2021

While the majority of Americans, and the vast majority of healthcare workers, support vaccine mandates, there are opponents who believe individuals should be allowed to make their own decisions about vaccines, including not getting vaccinated. Even before the Biden administration's announcement regarding mandates in certain sectors, including healthcare, many hospitals and nursing homes were setting their own dates for vaccine compliance. However, there are many headlines implying that legions of healthcare workers (and first responders, police officers, and others) are quitting rather than getting the vaccine. In today's post, we'll evaluate those headlines and what vaccine mandates could mean for your local hospital.

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Measuring the Cost Effectiveness of an HAI Reduction Intervention: Perspective

by Erica Mitchell | September 29 2021

Any time a healthcare facility considers investing in a new intervention - a medicine, a device, a piece of equipment, and even a training program - one of the first considerations will be cost effectiveness. The facility has a responsibility, both financial and ethical, to weigh the cost of an investment with the likelihood and extent of patient benefits. We would all love to live in a world where hospitals could invest in any and all interventions without thought as to cost and return on investment. Instead, we face a reality in which not only are financial resources limited, but also personnel, space, and even time are constrained. As a result, when millions of dollars and patients' lives are at stake, calculating cost effectiveness of an intervention has a lot on the line.

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Medical Rationing: Crisis Standards of Care

by Erica Mitchell | September 27 2021

In a time of crisis, be it a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, or a global pandemic, there must be plans in place to help responders make life-or-death decisions about how to allocate resources. The nation, the states, cities and individual facilities have disaster plans in place to guide decision-making when time is of essence and people are under duress. Health care workers are particularly burdened by these kinds of weighty decisions, with lives of patients in the balance. In today's post, we'll look at the plan that helps them make the hardest decisions imaginable: The Crisis Standards of Care.

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Infection Control & Alternative Payment Models: Who Will Pay? (Part 2)

by Erica Mitchell | September 22 2021

Our previous post presented some of the problems with the current fee-for-service payment model used in healthcare. In response to these costly problems, there are a number of alternative payment models being tested, with promising results. Today we will look at the alternatives that seem to be picking up speed as we move toward reducing our nation's healthcare costs.

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HAIs in the Time of COVID: The Numbers Are In

by Erica Mitchell | September 17 2021

In a previous post, we explored the preliminary data describing the status of Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs) during the pandemic. These first glimpses painted a picture of challenges to infection control and prevention, and hinted at what might be expected in terms of elevated infection risks despite enhancing cleaning regimens. Now, with the release of the analysis conducted by the National Health Safety Network (NHSN) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we finally have the numbers. In a word, they are bleak.

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