HAIs Are The 4th Leading Cause of Death

By Chris Hermann

If you live in the United States, what’s most likely to kill you?

  1. Heart disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Stroke
  4. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)[1]

So, HAIs are the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. As well as the #1 preventable cause of death.

Another way to look at the data is this: HAIs kill more people than prostate and breast cancer combined.[2]

With so many people dying from HAIs, it’s surprising how little press coverage this generates. When you look at the nonprofits, media campaigns, and research studies that heart disease, cancer and strokes garner – not to mention prostate and breast cancer – it doesn’t make sense.

Again, HAIs are largely preventable. The most important factor in preventing them is hand hygiene. While hand hygiene may not be as attention-getting as pink ribbon campaigns or clinical trials of an exciting new cancer drug, it has a huge, critical part to play in patient safety.

Hand hygiene can be improved at the clinical level – even doubled. More importantly, HAIs can be reduced – in fact, the past 10 hospital installations of our system have seen an average drop in HAIs of over 60%. There’s no need to rely on outdated techniques like direct observation (more here and here) when technology can make such a dramatic and immediate impact.

If more hospitals would invest in electronic hand hygiene reminder systems, we could see HAIs drop further down the list of causes of death. Fewer patients would die, fewer people would suffer, and the healthcare industry could save tens of billions of dollars a year.

What are you waiting for? Our system has reduced HAIs by an average of over 60% in every hospital that has installed our technology and followed our process for six months. If you’d like to learn more, download our whitepaper to discover the process. Or here’s a brief video about how the system works.

 

[1] https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/53/7/i/424554

[2] http://www.surfacide.com/education/

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