ECRI Institute, one of the leading patient safety and medical technology research organizations, places health technology cybersecurity at the top of its just-released 2019 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards.
A simple handheld device that can help reduce hospital infections?
What device is used by every nurse for every patient, every condition, every day and everywhere?
Routine thermometers used in hospitals today will touch a patient between 8,000 and 15,000 times during its lifetime, that’s multiple incidences of contact which expose each patient to infection risk. Hospital thermometers propose mitigation of this risk is the use of a plastic cap, cover or consumable that removes direct contact with the patient. However in ‘real life’ situation these caps can become a secondary source of risk as inappropriate disposal can lead to them appearing in hospital beds, food trays or even swallowed by patients with compromised cognition.
A new thermometer has been developed using infrared technology to eliminate the need to touch the patient and infection risk incidences, for the patient and the healthcare personnel. TriTemp is a clinical hospital thermometer that uses ZERO consumables and ZERO patient contact. The device is simply pointed at the forehead and collects the Infrared radiation emitted by the forehead and uses an algorithm on the onboard chip to convert the reading to a Body temperature.
HCAI is defined as an infection acquired as a result of healthcare; it is estimated that around 9% of patients acquire an HCAI during their stay in hospital. This number may be higher in the ICU setting. The most common are C Difficile, Norovirus and MRSA, all of which are spread via contact; in fact, eight out of ten incidents of infectious diseases are communicated by this means.
CANDIDA AURIS – THE NEW HCAI THREAT
Candida auris is a multi drug resistant pathogen which poses a new global threat; it was first identified in 2009 in Japan when it was isolated from a patient with an ear infection. It can cause invasive infection with a potentially high death rate of 57%; this ‘hardy yeast’ can live on surfaces for over a month.
C. auris has already been detected in the UK with over 20 NHS and private healthcare organisations experiencing outbreaks. One of the most significant was in a Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (NICU); the outbreak was finally controlled by the removal from use of the multi patient use axilla temperature probes, upon which it was found to have colonised by C. auris. http://www.eccmidlive.org/#resources/epidemiology-and-successful-control...
THE £1 BILLION BURDEN OF HCAIS ON THE UK HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
The burden on healthcare systems caused by hospital acquired infections like Candida auris in the UK is immense- in excess of £1b per year in additional diagnoses, treatments and extended hospital stays. There are 300,000 of HCAIS in the UK annually, with 5000 resultant deaths. Across Europe, HCAIs are the cause of over 24 million extra hospital days.
The impact on patients themselves can be devastating, both mentally and physically: pain, anxiety, financial difficulties and potentially a reduced quality of life. There can also be an added burden on carers, so entire families can be affected. The identification of this emerging pathogen- the robust Candida auris adds to the challenge faced by the NHS in managing HCAIs.
In a time when our NHS is seeking ways to reduce costs by up to £5 billion as outlined in the 2016 Carter Report ‘Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations ‘the knock-on effect of the prolonged hospital stays caused by HCAIs is not only increased cost but also extended waiting times, delays to admission and adverse patient bed flows.
Simon Stevens CE of NHS England expressed grave concern in his November 22nd speech prior to the Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s Autumn budget, warning that without extra funding, the waiting list for elective procedures could increase to 5 million by 2021. HCAIs continue to contribute to the drain on NHS finances and Candida auris looks set to add to the current burden.
BOLSTERING EXISTING PREVENTATIVE MEASURES: NON-CONTACT THERMOMETERY
Although not all HCAIs are preventable, estimates indicate that 15-30% reduction could result from improved hygiene practices and contact precautions. The collaboration between RCN and IPS resulting in the ‘Infection Prevention and Control Commissioning Toolkit’ provides a series of mandatory and suggested indicators to assist commissioners and healthcare providers to move towards a zero-tolerance approach to HCAI reduction.
TriMedika believes ‘remove contact – remove cause – remove contamination’ and there is another tool to combat HCAIS – the innovative non-contact TRITEMP thermometer.
With ZERO consumables required, TRITEMP initiates immediate cost savings to hospital budgets; more importantly, TRITEMP’s ZERO contact technology reduces the requirement to touch patients when taking temperature, decreasing the opportunities for pathogens like Candida Auris, C Diffciille & MRSA to be transmitted to patients or from patients to healthcare personnel.
TriMedika will be exhibiting at Health Plus Care on 27th & 28th June 2018; to make an appointment please contact us.