Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) pose a full-size risk to healthcare industry internationally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), HAIs affect millions of patients yearly and cause prolonged hospital stays, rising healthcare costs and more importantly deaths. In American hospitals alone, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that HAIs account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths per year.
Patients who acquire infections from surgery:
- spend, on average, an additional 6.5 days in the hospital
- 5x more likely to be readmitted after discharge
- are more likely to die
- are 60% more likely to require admission to a hospital’s intensive care unit
Surgical infections account for up to ten billion dollars annually in healthcare expenditures, in the USA alone and HAIs are the single most deadly and costly adverse event, representing up to 6% of public hospital budgets.
This article explores the promising future of hospital infection control and how sensors and IoT solutions can play a vital role in mitigating the risk of HAIs.
The Role of Sensors in Infection Control
Sensors are rapidly changing many industries’ procedures, and healthcare is not an exception. In the context of health centers infection management, sensors offer numerous compelling benefits. They can constantly monitor the environment and offer real-time information on crucial parameters such as temperature, humidity, air quality, and hand hygiene compliance. By leveraging this information, hospitals can come across capacity contamination risks and take proactive measures to address them.
Traditionally, contamination control measures relied on periodic manual inspections and observations. However, this approach may leave out vital moments where infections can occur. Sensors era enables hospitals to gather information continuously and in real-time, taking into account a more proactive and responsive method to infection control.
Sensors generate automated alerts after they stumble on situations which could pose contamination risks. For instance, an unexpected growth in temperature or humidity tiers in a selected location of the clinic could suggest a potential outbreak. Automated signals empower healthcare experts to take immediate action and put in force suitable measures to prevent further spread.
Hand hygiene is a fundamental factor of infection control. Poor compliance with hand hygiene protocols can appreciably make contributions to the spread of infections within healthcare settings. Sensors may be deployed to monitor hand hygiene compliance by measuring the frequency and effectiveness of handwashing. This data can help identify if the hygiene rules are followed and power behavioral change among healthcare workforces.
The Role of IoT in Infection Control
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the community of interconnected devices and sensors that communicate and share information with each other. In the context of infection control, IoT has the capability to revolutionize the way hospitals prevent and manage HAIs.
IoT-enabled devices can collect vast amounts of data, providing hospitals with very useful information about infection styles and trends. By utilizing advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms, healthcare organizations can identify high-risk regions, track infection outbreaks, and optimize resource allocation for powerful control measures.
The interconnected nature of IoT devices allows the remote monitoring and tracking of contamination control measures. For instance, hospitals can remotely reveal the overall performance of air filtration structures, disinfection methods, and hand hygiene compliance, ensuring that requirements are continually met across all places.
A sensor node system is gathering, processing, or communicating information with other connected nodes in a network. Communicates all the information in real time and can identifies microbiological contamination
Integrating IoT devices with Electronic Health Records (EHRs) can facilitate efficient data monitoring and analysis. This integration permits healthcare specialists to get comprehensive patient information, contamination facts, and surveillance information in real-time. Such a holistic view can assist in time interventions and effective decision-making to prevent the spread of HAIs.
Implementing sensor and IoT solutions requires investment in infrastructure, devices, and data management but the benefits of this investment are numerous, and the long-term results will benefit both patients and healthcare organizations.
The future of hospital infection control holds great promise with the integration of sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT). Continuous monitoring, automated alerts, and enhanced data analysis facilitated by sensors offer proactive infection control measures. IoT-enabled devices provide opportunities for remote monitoring and control and improved decision-making. By harnessing the power of sensors and IoT, healthcare organizations can greatly enhance their ability to prevent and control hospital-acquired infections.