Eliminating five hospital-acquired conditions can save $2M annually

Preventing five of the most commonly occurring hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) could help a 200-bed hospital save $2 million annually, according to an analysis by the Healthcare Management Council, Inc. (HMC).

The savings relate to the extra hospitals provide to treat the related complications that arise. The five HACs, which can result in nonpayment from Medicare, Medicaid and, in some cases, private insurance, include: decubitis ulcers, postoperative pulmonary embolism and deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), accidental puncture and laceration, post-operative respiratory failure and infections due to medical care.

Reviewing data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HMC studied hospitals as small as 75 beds and as large as 800 beds to determine how much they send on HAC-related patient care. The costs ranged from $8,300 per patient for care costs associated with accidental punctures to $24,500 per patient for care related to hospital-acquired infections.

"The old saw that ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' is truer in a hospital than most people realize," said Shelly Burns, director of knowledge management at HMC. "Hospitals must follow best practices, analyze the root causes of their off-quality issues, and engage clinicians in improving processes, believes that through various small changes to daily routines, such HACs can be reduced drastically, thus shaving down unnecessary costs for hospitals."

For more information:
- check out this HMC release