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.
The perceived stability of the national economy impacts the willingness of the healthcare industry to invest in innovations with up-front costs. In times of relative economic stability, healthcare systems may be more willing and able to make up-front investments with returns that pay off in the short- and long-term. During times of more economic instability, healthcare systems may opt to pass on these same innovations in their efforts to cut immediate costs. What can make the difference? Quality data at sufficient quantity can mitigate risk-aversion during times of instability. In today's post, we will explore how to make the value proposition for infection control innovations even during times of economic volatility.
Infection preventionists and their colleagues are inundated with sales messages promoting the latest products, innovations, new formulations, and next big thing to buy for their facility. It's fairly easy to read between the lines of advertisements, weigh the scientific claims written in bold letters on a flyer, and disregard the emoji-filled email subject lines. But what about the review written up in a trade magazine? What about the speaker at a professional organization breakfast? What about the listing in a online product database? How does the busy infection preventionist or healthcare leader know when they are reading an unbiased review and when they are reading a sponsored pieced approved and paid for by the manufacturer?
Eradicating pathogens from environmental surfaces in hospitals is a daily fight. Keeping bacteria from reproducing on surfaces, finding reservoirs in hard-to-clean areas, and forming biofilms requires daily disinfection, and ideally, some form of continuous mitigation. In today's post, we will look at the threats posed by bacteria that are even more adept at surviving on surfaces: Spore-forming bacteria, and how hospitals are trying to keep these persistent pathogens from threatening their patients.
Almost every country has a government agency responsible for the health and safety of its citizens and its environment. Where those two departments overlap is often where pesticides and germicides are regulated. At this intersection are those chemicals that, if released into the environment, could cause damage, but which, within healthcare facilities, are required in order to kill dangerous pathogens. In today's post, we'll explore two such departments in neighboring nations, the United States and Canada.
How do you put an economic value on a human life? Why would you ever want to? As difficult as this quantification may be, it is a necessary practice in healthcare when evaluating the efficacy of an intervention, the appropriation of resources, as well as the framing of options for both the individual and a population. Two measures attempt to accomplish this valuation: Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) and Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). In the next series of posts, we will explore both these measures, and ultimately discuss how they are used in the field of infection control and prevention.
Large-scale healthcare projects, from new projects to renovations, face a challenging future. After the tedious process of securing permits and getting approved plans and even issuing press releases, many of these ambitious projects stall due to financial pressures. Increasingly, healthcare systems may hit the pause button as they take a closer look at cost-benefits, with emphases on expanding market share and reducing cost of care. In today's post, we will look at how a healthcare project can help achieve both goals by focusing on proven infection prevention infrastructure.
Last week we provided a big-picture overview of the healthcare supply chain, from supplier to patient. This week, we will dig deeper into this process and try to identify places along the supply chain where decisions can impact infection control and prevention. While all hospitals must meet EPA- and FDA-mandated standards for cleanliness and device protocols, there is room for individual choices in how each facility will prepare and respond to pathogens. So where along supply chain are decisions made that influence infection control?
Remember back in 2020, when the COVID pandemic was still new, and we were all getting used to lockdowns, social distancing, and masks? Many of us will also remember that as a time of so-called "COVID products," items designed and marketed to take advantage of the general public's desire for safety. People were willing to spend money on products that sounded like they could help keep the virus away, and included flagrant misinformation that led a few companies into legal troubles. More pernicious, and therefore more dangerous, were the products that seemed like they were backed by science and that were adopted by well-meaning companies and consumers. In today's post, we'll look at some of those seemingly innovative and cutting-edge products that turned out to be just as ineffective as some of the crazier products - and those that stood the test of time, and science.