Bed Management’s Answer to Hospital-Acquired Infections

My colleague Jonathan Morris, BSN, RN, presented an interesting point on the Patient Flow Blog in August 2012 about the opportunity hospitals have to better manage their isolation patients through the use of technology and cutting edge software applications.

The great news is that innovative bed management software supports the management of isolation patients and practices. From the initial decision to admit a potentially infected patient, through patient placement decisions that support the 5 “rights” methodology (getting each patient to the correct level of care, service, unit, bed, at the right time), through the transportation processes, and eventually to the final bed turnover and cleaning of that patient’s room respective of the isolation organism and correct cleaning process, technology can ensure isolation safety procedures are followed.

Hospital leadership has the responsibility to provide the best technology available and operational workflow process redesigns to ensure that other patients are not at risk of exposure to organisms that should be properly isolated.

Recently, an acquaintance of mine fell and broke his hip. Fortunately, the hip fracture was such that he did not require surgery for repair of that fracture. He did, however, need to be transferred to a rehab facility for a planned 5-7 day admission to help him regain his strength and insure his walking stability. He was doing great and all anticipated a good recovery.

He was placed in semi-private room, and his roommate became ill, contracting C diff. At the first signs of his roommate’s risk factors for C diff, best practice should have dictated that my acquaintance be removed from the room. Software solutions would have flagged this need to isolate his roommate. However, my acquaintance was not moved, and also contracted C diff. He is back in acute care in critical condition. He may not be strong enough to make it through this admission.

Technology exists to enable the prevention of the spread of these hospital-acquired infections. Hospitals are mandated to provide sterile technique standards within all surgical suites, and possibly hospitals should now mandate that appropriate infection tracking technology be utilized. Certainly these technologies save lives.

In the scenario I recounted, had the rehab hospital been using technology that could flag the roommate as ‘at risk’ for C diff, at the first signs and symptoms, my acquaintance could have quickly been moved and would more than likely be back home recuperating rather than taking this turn for the worse.

There is a solution for hospitals to prevent the spread of C diff and any other infectious organism. Central Logic Core™ is a robust bed management software solution that has embedded isolation alerts and patient placement algorithms. This technology supports the appropriate placement of a patient complying with the CDC’s isolation standards.

The CDC reports that C diff is linked to a minimum of 14,000 deaths annually, possibly upwards of 30,000 according to some advisors. This should not be. Bed management software can reduce these numbers. Technology is not the only answer, but without a doubt, the ability to identify patients who need to be isolated will save lives.

 

To learn how your hospital can set-up processes and software to manage appropriate bed placement, please feel free to contact me.