Infrastructure Design for Reduced Patient Readmissions

Thomas L. Tsaros, BS and MS – Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Fitzemeyer & Tocci Associates
Terence Boland, BS – Mechanical Engineering, Syracuse University, Fitzemeyer & Tocci
Joseph J. Sziabowski, Hardaway | Sziabowski Architects

Reducing healthcare associated infections (HAIs) is of paramount importance in the operation of a hospital. Research has shown that the likelihood of readmission is greater for patients who experience HAIs compared to those that experience no adverse events. Annually, 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries is readmitted within 30 days of discharge, costing $26 billion per year with $17 billion of that considered avoidable. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has instituted payment-related policies which reduces payments to hospitals with excess readmissions. Readmissions of patients ultimately cost healthcare providers out of their own pockets, decreasing capital available for vital patient services and infrastructure needs.

This presentation will include recommendations, insights, best practices, and examples illustrating how smart infrastructure investments can help to reduce avoidable patient readmissions and ultimately improve the overall finances of a healthcare organization and the health and safety of their patients, providers and visitors. Topics include air handling and sterile fields, air infiltration and disinfection, design and management of sterile spaces, water treatment, and improved patient healing environments. The goal is to highlight where facility management can go beyond the code and standard practices and focus on transforming the existing paradigm of health care facilities infrastructure design to improve patient treatment, care and general wellbeing.

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