Clinical and financial impact of HACs: a commentary on clinical and financial costs of hospital-acquired conditions
In recent years, some aspects of hospital care have become increasingly scrutinized by insurance companies, the general public, and even healthcare providers themselves as all groups aspire to create an efficient, safe, and successful system. One area of particular focus is length of hospitalization, also known as length of stay (LOS), viewed by insurance companies through a financial lens and by providers from a clinical effectiveness standpoint. However, it is clear that prolonged LOS increases the risk of additional harm, sometimes unrelated to the original reason for hospitalization, from certain hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). Some important HACs include central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), venous thromboembolism (VTE) (comprised of both deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism), and pressure ulcers (PU). Significant preventative efforts have reduced the occurrence of these serious conditions, such as surgical site infections (1), among hospitalized adults but less is known about safe, productive, and financially-feasible strategies in pediatric care.