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The cost of Healthcare Associated Infections

Generally, people want to spend as little time as possible in hospital. Whilst we enjoy an excellent standard of care in Australia and New Zealand, most of us would prefer to have our procedure, spend the appropriate amount of recovery time in hospital and then return to the comfort of our own home. 

Sadly, with the ongoing challenges of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI), they can result in readmissions and an increased length of stay for patients ranging on average from 20 to 30 days. 

According to the Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Healthcares’ report , over 60,000 HAI’s were diagnosed in Australian Hospitals in 2015-2016, affecting one in every 74 hospitalisations. The effects of these are considerable, both in terms of the physical and emotional impact for the patient and their families and financially for the hospital, health funds and the community as a whole. 

The impact is astounding when you see the numbers. The associated costs have been estimated as follows:

Healthcare Associated Infections cost in Australia

What’s even more astounding is that technology is readily available today that can have a dramatic impact to reduce the incidence of HAI’s and Surgical Site Infections (SSI).

Products such as Indigo-Clean® are delivering significant results. A 12 month study conducted by the Maury Regional Medical Centre in Columbia, Tennessee, showed a 73% reduction in SSIs over the previous year in the operating room where the Indigo-Clean® continuous environmental disinfection system was installed, taking the already low SSI rate of 1.4% to an even lower rate of 0.4%.  The study results also showed an 85% reduction in bacteria in the operating room where Indigo-Clean® was used. 

What’s more, Indigo-Clean® is proven to be effective against Norovirus and SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Coronavirus disease COVID-19. 

Indigo-Clean® was introduced into Australia by Wilhelm in 2019 at the Nexus Vermont Private Hospital in Melbourne. They have reported that in the 12 months since Indigo-Clean® was introduced into an Operating Room (OR) they have had no surgical site infections. They are in the process of installing Indigo-Clean® in a new OR that is under construction. Indigo-Clean® has also been installed in Nexus’ Orange Private Hospital.

With the cost of infections to patients, families, hospitals, health funds and the community at large so high, makes you wonder why products like Indigo-Clean® are not the standard? 

It’s especially compelling when you know that preventing one gastrointestinal infection in a patient room or two surgical site infections from an operating theatre would generally cover the cost of installation. 

You can contact the Wilhelm team here.