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Hospital infections are costly for hospitals and economies!

Portrait of Dr. Thomas Hauer speaking on a conference
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Nosocomial infections prolong hospitalization and require more diagnostic and treatment expenses. The systematic implementation of proven prevention measures should get more attention, so the tenor of an event organised by the “Initiative für mehr Sicherheit im OP” and the “Plattform Patientensicherheit” in Vienna at the end of May.

British data show that the duration of hospitalization for patients with nosocomial infections is 2.5 times longer than the duration of inpatient treatment of patients without hospital infection. This phenomenon must be counteracted with extensive measures, was the unanimous opinion of the discussants, among whom was also Thomas Hauer, Medical Director of the German Consulting Centre for Hygiene (Deutsches Beratungszentrum für Hygiene) in Freiburg. He warns of a too selective look at the problem of nosocomial infections: “In the public debate the theme hospital germs is often focused on the multi-resistant pathogens. Of course, they are a great problem, but we must not overlook the fact that at 85 percent of the cases non resistant pathogens are involved, and they should not be neglected.”
Hauer also mentions the high mitigation potential: A significant part of all hospital infections could be avoided: Studies about nosocomial infections in Germany for example show a prevention potential of 20 to 30 percent.
He is observing, that economic arguments noticeably promote the prevention idea: “If you clearly demonstrate the clinic managers how they can save money with investments in good prevention, they begin to rethink.” In this process of change they often get a better view on implemented useless prevention measures. And last but not least: “A rethink avoids hardly quantifiable public image damages.”
Links to:
Deutsches Beratungszentrum für Hygiene
Plattform für Patientensicherheit
Initiative für mehr Sicherheit im OP

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