Achieving and maintaining sanitized surfaces in hospitals requires an arsenal cleaning and disinfecting products, with quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs or QUATs) being a popular choice. However, as with all cleaners and disinfectants, there are both benefits and risks to their use. In today's post, we'll explore the use of quaternary ammonium compounds and some growing concerns about their impact.
Hospitals are the setting for countless decisions each day, decisions that impact patient outcomes, financial investments, community health and so much more. Decisions about the prevention of healthcare associated infections take place at all levels of a hospital hierarchy, from the environmental services cleaner to the Chief Executive Officer. In today’s post, we will look at who makes these critical decisions that impact patient safety, staff well-being, and the overall resilience of a healthcare system.
Probably no other organizational entity has the human resources complexity of a hospital. Healthcare facilities bring together not just medical professions, but also administration, marketing, financial, and social work professionals. This convergence results in a complex hierarchy which is difficult to nail down, varies by the facility, and can change based on difficult-to-pinpoint scenarios. As a result, a post about the hierarchy of a hospital has to be broad, but we will attempt to lay out the general levels of responsibility by focusing on decision-making areas at private care facilities.
About a quarter of American hospitals are for-profit, that is, they are operated to generate profit for owners and stakeholders. A subsection of those hospitals, about 3%, have been acquired through private equity (PE) buyouts, whereby a PE firm raises funds to purchase a hospital. These PE transactions, also called "takeovers," are characteristically funded through leveraged debt - the firm takes out a loan secured by the purchased entity (the hospital), adding the burden of that debt to the balance sheet (and monthly expenses) of that facility. As a result, hospitals acquired by PE firms face additional pressures; they are operated not only to generate profit but also must repay large amounts of debt, used to fund the acquisition and now added to their balance sheet. A recent study looked into this subsection of hospitals to see how this added financial pressure impacted patient outcomes. The results? Patients are 25% more likely to be harmed by medical care at a private-equity acquired facility.
In our series on Clostridioides difficile, we explored the bacteria that causes this lethal hospital-acquired infection, the resulting infectious disease, and the outlook for treatment and prevention. This Thanksgiving week we are providing a shorter read and offering this one-page infographic that presents the highlights of this series on one shareable page. The cycle of infection as well as the lifecycle of the microorganisms are presented in relation to each other, with the added element of where either of those cycles can be broken, preventing an outbreak.
There are 6 reasons why Clostridioides difficile is such a menace. Each one of these aspects makes C. diff infections, or CDIs, a force to be reckoned with. All six make it one of the greatest threats in hospital infection control.
C. diff, or Clostridioides difficile, is a Gram-positive, rod-shaped, anaerobic, endosporic, toxigenic, opportunistic, bacillus. Its scientific description makes it sound like a pretty standard bacteria. But this bacteria "causes almost half a million infections in the United States each year" according to the CDC. November is C. diff Awareness Month so stick with us all month to learn more about this microorganism and the unique attributes that make it so lethal. Today’s post will explore the basic definition of Clostridioides difficile. First, let’s unpack that long list of terms mentioned above.
Every successful organization, from a small grassroots group to a global corporation, has a way for ideas to percolate through the system and find their way to the top decision-makers. Human ingenuity can come from anywhere, including cost-saving ideas (the matchbox), ways to attract new demographics (Flamin' Hot Cheetos), retain current customers (Starbucks), and of course, launch completely new products (PlayStation). From our last post, we know that hospitals and healthcare systems allocate their budgets in advance, with limited protocols for integrating innovations. How can the individual with an idea get that innovation in front of the right people at the right time, and of course, in the right way? In today's post, we'll explore one method to get you there.
Hospital finances are a complex process, involving all the parts of a service provider, a retail business, an investment venture, and a non-profit organization. Investment in medical innovations require buy-in from anyone (and everyone) from physicians and nurses all the way to the CFO and CEO. In today's post, we will introduce a series on the topic of how hospitals budget and spend money, and how an individual employee can use that information in order to bring an innovative idea to the right person at the right time.