Healthcare News & Insights

Reduce pneumonia rates, save money: Strategies for your facility

Hospital-acquired pneumonia puts patients’ health at serious risk. Beyond impacting patient safety, treating pneumonia costs money and resources, so revamping your facility’s prevention efforts can both boost your bottom line and improve patient care.

Pneumonia is the No. 1 hospital-acquired infection in the United States, and it’s not just a problem that affects elderly patients.Sutter Health in Sacramento, CA, have implemented oral care programs for patients.

Encouraging patients to brush their teeth right before undergoing surgery and multiple times throughout the day has been shown to be effective in reducing rates of hospital-acquired pneumonia.

While more research is needed to definitively link oral care to decreased rates of pneumonia, it’s a low-cost and easy practice to implement.Treating one case of pneumonia costs around $40,000, the WSJ says. A toothbrush costs $1 at your local Target.

It’s also important to pay attention to patients who use opioids, as research has shown those patients may be more likely to contract pneumonia while in the hospital.

Benefits to prevention

Each year, 9,886 lives and $2.43 billion could be saved with It also cuts down on readmission rates,which helps you avoid penalties from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Another tangential benefit? Patients are more likely to recommend your hospital on review sites or to their friends and family “ something that can bring more patients into the fold and improve your hospital’s reputation in the community.

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