Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) affect 1.4 million people worldwide at any given time. That’s ~1 in 31 hospital patients.  In the United States, HAIs cost hospitals $28-44 billion annually. Their indirect cost to society (e.g., early deaths, decreased productivity) is even greater. 
Most HAIs are preventable. However, published evidence suggests that many healthcare workers are non-compliant with prevention guidelines:
*CLABSIs, or central line-associated bloodstream infections, are the deadliest and most costly HAI.  
The Solution? People + Technology
On October 21st, we attended APIC 2022: an annual conference hosted by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. The theme? “Accelerating HAI Prevention.”
We presented an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled solution for infection control specialists to ensure compliance with CLABSI prevention guidelines. We also had the pleasure of attending keynotes by infection control experts.
One of those experts inspired this blog: William Rutala, PhD, MS, MPH, who presented on “Disinfection & Sterilization” (slides free-to-read HERE). Dr. Rutala emphasized the importance of adopting new technologies to compensate for human error. His presentation featured a powerful quote by Robert A. Weinstein, MD:
Given the choice of improving technology or improving behavior, technology is the better choice.
Hospitals can (and should) take steps to increase infection control compliance the old-fashioned way. But human error makes some degree of noncompliance inevitable. That’s where technology can make a huge impact.
Modern technologies like AI present an opportunity to improve patient experience and outcomes with automated compliance assurance. Dr. Rutala cited continuous room contamination as a successful case study. Self-cleaning surfaces circumvent the #1 cause of contamination: cleaning crew members.
The Way Forward for Healthcare Professionals
If you’re an infection control specialist, we recommend taking two steps.
Explore Dr. Rutala’s resources regarding the most effective disinfection and sterilization procedures for HAI elimination.
- Reach out. Synaptiq has the technology and expertise to solve your infection control problems. We want to help. Let’s discuss.
Synaptiq is an Oregon-based artificial intelligence and data science consulting firm. We engage our clients in a collaborative approach to developing human-centered products and custom solutions while maintaining a strong commitment to ethics and innovation.
Contact us if you have a problem to solve, a process to refine, or a question to ask. You can learn more about our story through our past projects, blog, or podcast.