A Look Into the Minds of Hospital Executives
By Dr. Priya Balachandran
At the helm of hospital management, executives constantly grapple with their list of priorities. “As leaders we are responsible for so many things. Healthcare is such a tough business, that it literally never ends. But out of all our priorities at the top is making people feel like they matter.” says Kevin Vermeer, president and CEO of UnityPoint Health (West Des Moines, Iowa) 1
According to a survey of 1100 healthcare executive’s opinions2, the top priorities for healthcare leadership are the following:
- Reducing Costs
- Coordinating Services
- Patient Care Quality
- IT Integration
- Patient Engagement
Issues such as Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) remain a primary concern as infection prevention strategies have the potential to transcend all of these priorities (except possibly IT integration).
In the best-case scenarios, HAIs are addressed through a combination of intervention methods that are:
- Cost effective to implement
- Automated, therefore no additional overhead or compliance issues
- All encompassing; addressing hard surfaces (bed rails, door knobs, floors etc.), soft surfaces (patient and hospital linens), personnel hygiene (hand hygiene) and other environmental sources of microbes
- Sustainable and supporting efforts around environmental and antibiotic stewardship
Finding innovative technologies and best practices that can be implemented in an operationally streamlined manner are critical to achieving the goals of the C-Suite.
About the author: Dr. Balachandran joined Applied Silver, Inc. in June 2017. She brings more than 15 years of scientific, regulatory and business experiences in the area of infectious disease and microbial monitoring. Dr. Balachandran received her Ph.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
I like the fact that the list given is realistic in its order of priorities. In an ideal world, the welfare of the patients would be top priority. That being said, the cost factor determines if the medical premiums are affordable and as many would not get care without the realities of the increasing costs of health insurance, I can understand why costs considerations must be of the highest priority. If the Applied Silver antimicrobial treatment is low cost compared to existing methods of linen hygiene, then an argument for reduced overall healthcare cost is significant. The individual under care will not require extra time or medical services due to an additional requirement to treat an HIA. How to quantify that savings would be difficult, but nevertheless, the quality of care would be enhanced even with the likelihood of having avoided an HIA incident. Thank you for the honest dialog.