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A Data Informed Approach to Infection Control

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Data lies at the core of healthcare operations – but how that data is used is more important than the data itself.

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting millions of people across the world, infection control is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. And considering the rise of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in recent years, we are now in critical need of a data-informed approach towards infection prevention and control. (1)

The CDC estimates that 1 in 20 patients will develop a HAI. These infections are contracted by an estimated 1.7 million patients annually and are responsible for 99,000 deaths each year. Additionally, the estimated cost of these infections ranges from $35.7 to $45 billion. (2)  

Although most healthcare organizations are well aware of the importance of tracking infections with a data-informed approach, barriers in internal processes can make it increasingly difficult for care teams to perform effective data collection and analysis. With limited budgets, resources, and personnel, many health systems are compelled to take a reactive versus a proactive approach towards infection control. (3)

Some health systems face the opposite challenge of having too much data. This type of “data overload” can occur when organizations have so much information – information that is often housed across siloed, disparate systems – that it becomes difficult to analyze. (4)

Over 50 percent of organizations report that they have too much data to be able to analyze it efficiently. (4)

How to Make Infection Control Data Work For You

There are 3 steps that healthcare organizations can take to collect and analyze data in a way that systemically supports infection prevention and control:

1. Efficient Data Collection

Healthcare teams are able to greatly increase efficiency and improve outcomes when they no longer have to rely on paper reporting or Excel spreadsheets for data management. A software solution for infection control allows care teams to streamline data collection with the click of a button. Solutions that are compatible across desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile devices make data collection even more efficient.

2. Share Data with the Right Person at the Right Time

After data is initially collected, it’s important to make sure that it gets to the right people in a timely manner. Utilizing a system with automatic notifications and alerts helps to eliminate siloes in systems, and establishes a central channel for team communication about infection control and prevention.

3. Actionable Data to Drive Results

In an infection prevention environment, data is likely available concerning infection rates, disinfection events, clinical events, employee training, hand hygiene and more. Turning all of this seemingly disparate data into an infection prevention strategy requires robust analysis and visualization tools. (5) Utilizing tools such as customized dashboards with drill-through analytics allows healthcare teams to turn vast amounts of infection control data into actionable decisions that drive results. 

Performance Health Partner’s Infection Control Solution

Performance Health Partner’s Infection Control Solution places patients first and helps organizations drastically improve quality of care. Streamlined reporting, real-time notifications and alerts, and smart analytics empower healthcare organizations to take a data informed approach towards infection control and prevention. To learn more, visit performancehealthus.com/employee-health or schedule a demo.

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References:
1- https://journals.lww.com/nursingmadeincrediblyeasy/FullText/2015/05000/Basic_principles_of_infection_control.7.aspx

2- https://www.cdc.gov/hai/data/index.html
3- https://www.nationalgeographic.org/lesson/controlling-contagion-proactive-and-reactive-respo/
4- https://healthitanalytics.com/news/data-overload-may-impede-healthcare-internet-of-things-growth
5- https://infectioncontrol.tips/2019/01/31/visualizing-infections-with-data/

 

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