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According to the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 22 patients this year will get an infection while hospitalized and of that 1.7 million infected, 99,000 will die after acquiring infections during otherwise routine hospitalizations. Better infection control is needed in hospitals across America, and many times the solutions for prevention of infections can prove quite simple. It is negligent for medical professionals to neglect to wash their hands and follow simple measures for good hygiene, and it is likewise negligent for hospitals to fail to implement and enforce infection control policies that prevent these infections.
The Pittsburgh VA Hospital equips every room with dispensers of foamy hand santizer often discards blood pressure cuffs after use. In addition, each room is assigned its own stethoscope. In addition to saving much misery, and in some cases death, these measures prove to save hospitals money, even considering the added cost of the improved infection control programs. The Pittsburgh VA Hospital experienced net savings of $ 900,000, even after considering the $500,000 it cost to implement the new program and purchase the necessary equipment, kits, gowns, gloves, sanitizer, and additional employees.
The Pittsburgh hospital placed a major emphasis on hand cleansing and sanitizing in its infection control program. Studies show that busy hospital workers fail to follow good hygiene in hand cleansing over half the time. It is up to hospital administration to establish a culture of cleanliness like the hospital in Pittsburgh where the use of hand sanitizer has doubled and nurses now push elevator buttons with their knuckles. Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness for good nurses and hospitals.