Hospital-acquired infections influence patients' hospital selection

Although healthcare facilities are typically thought of as sterile environments, 64 percent of Americans don't think they're any safer from germs in hospitals than they are in their daily lives, according to an online survey released today. In order to attract more patients, hospitals will need to change that view.

The survey by Harris Interactive shows that hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are influencing people's perceptions of a hospital's safety. And the ability to protect patients from hospital germs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is becoming a major factor in choosing where to receive care.

When choosing a hospital in a non-emergency situation, 75 percent of respondents believe lower infection rates are more important to consider than convenience.

What's more, 94 percent would prefer to go to a hospital that uses the latest technology available for preventing the spread of infection.

HAIs, which occur in nearly 2 million patients each year, lead to longer hospital stays and increased healthcare costs and patient deaths, notes Harris Interactive, which conducted the survey on behalf of Advanced Sterilization Products.

With hospitals looking for ways to cut costs and attract patients, these findings suggest hospitals should re-examine and perhaps revamp their treatment and prevention efforts related to HAIs.

For more information:
- check out the press release