Many hospital administrators worry that they can’t afford to implement these precautions, however the reality is they can’t afford not to. Infections erode hospital profits, because rarely are hospitals paid fully for the added weeks or months of care when a patient gets an infection.
Here’s an example from Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. The hospital would have made a profit treating a 37-year-old video programmer and father of four who was admitted with acute pancreatitis, but the economics changed when the patient developed a MRSA bloodstream infection. He had to stay in the hospital 86 days, and the hospital lost $41,813, according to research by Richard Shannon, former chairman of the Department of Medicine at Allegheny.
In another example, a woman came into the hospital for stomach-reduction surgery, a procedure that should have produced a $5,900 gross profit for the hospital. But when she developed a central line-associated bloodstream infection and had to spend 47 days in the hospital, that profit turned into a $16,000 loss.
At Allegheny General Hospital, the average payment for a patient who developed a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLAB) was $68,894, but the actual average cost of treating the patient was $91,733, leading to a gross loss of $26,839 per case. The hospital had 54 such cases in the medical intensive care unit and coronary care unit between July 2002 and June 2005. The infections resulted in a total economic loss to the hospital of $1,449,306.
As healthcare cost continue to grow, and as infections become more resistent to infections there is a sound business case to reduce infection rates by proven methods and technologies, UV-C air disinfection systems is viable option.