Does your hospital make you sick?

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 by Steve Tyink

A couple weeks ago I had to stop by my local hospital for a routine checkup. As I entered the facility, my first impression was less than favorable. In front of me was a line of people, many whom were extremely sick. Coughing, wheezing, sniffling – you could sense the pain in the air. I had none of those particular ‘pains,’ I just wanted to have my checkup and get back to work.

While I was waiting to be seen, it occurred to me that in all the wheezing and hacking, I could actually leave the hospital with something I didn’t bring to it – a virus. A sickness I didn’t want, but couldn’t avoid.

Every year, 99,000 people die from microorganisms, bacteria and infections they picked up in a hospital, sicknesses they didn’t have prior to walking through those hospital doors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that number encompasses more deaths than all of the traffic-related fatalities and AIDS-related deaths in the U.S. in the last year – combined. So, more people are dying due to the spread of bacteria than are losing their lives in car accidents.

What we pick up unannounced in our visits are nosocomial infections. According to Wikipedia, nosocomial infections are infections that are a result of treatment in a hospital or a healthcare service unit. Infections are considered nosocomial if they first appear 48 hours or more after hospital admission or within 30 days after discharge. This is a serious situation; no one wants to leave a hospital sicker than they already are.

So, while I am no clinician, I do understand that I don’t want an infection, nosocomial or otherwise.  This is important stuff, and at Miron we are taking it seriously. We think that by understanding this challenge and building better systems and processes, we can actually help to lower the spread of infection with our healthcare partners.

The Center for Health Care Design feels strongly about this topic. In fact, they understand that there is strong evidence that we can learn from others and reduce the spread of infection with some very simple ideas. Learn about these ideas at our upcoming national webcast. I and five other thought-leaders in the healthcare evidence-based design industry will be speaking on March 8th at 12 p.m. CST.

In this session you will learn about recent trends in evidence-based design, current case studies and why a growing number of administrators, architects and designers are applying peer-reviewed research as they plan, design and build healthcare facilities. .

Join us to learn how to put an end to this problem.



About Steve Tyink

Steve Tyink leads Miron’s experience-based design efforts, assists with process and lean improvement, and adds elements of innovation to business development and corporate strategies to differentiate the Miron brand. Steve also applies his expertise to serve as a resource to those seeking ways to create innovative facilities that encourage an emotional attachment for their own customers and employees.

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