For most people, the New Year brings excitement and endless possibilities. It’s a time to kick-start resolutions and get into gear to be a better version of one’s self (at least until the end of January!). And this feeling extends to the business world too. Regardless of industry, the beginning of every year brings with it a slew of business “predictions” for the 12 months ahead. There is no short supply of thought leaders willing to share their insights on the opportunities, challenges and trends slated to impact every industry from retail and travel to entertainment and finance. And then there’s healthcare …
It’s no surprise to anyone that the healthcare industry is in the midst of an evolution. Spurred by regulatory reform and other factors, organizations across the continuum of care are under tremendous pressure to find new and effective means of improving patient care while simultaneously reducing costs. While this is no easy feat, it has led to major technology innovations, strategies and best practices that are helping to make this vision of healthcare closer to a reality.
Given the major changes in healthcare – and the major innovations that stem from those changes – the team at Sciessent decided to formally share its 2016 predictions for the antimicrobial space. In the next two blogs, we’ll discuss the five trends we anticipate making waves and influencing infection-prevention strategies in the year ahead. But before we jump into those predictions, let’s lay the groundwork for where healthcare is today and why antimicrobials are increasingly becoming such a critical component of the industry’s future.
The overarching theme for all of our 2016 trends is sharing the responsibility in combating antibiotic-resistant infections. Why is this? Because traditional infection-prevention strategies are not cutting it and these dangerous illnesses are wreaking havoc on the healthcare industry. While the onus has typically fallen on hospitals, they are now putting pressure on med-device manufacturers and other suppliers to share in the responsibility.
Two million people annually become ill with antibiotic-resistant infections each year in the U.S. Most recently, MRSA and CRE have dominated headlines due to outbreaks and their exceptionally high mortality rates – 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively. On top of those scary statistics, these infections are causing the healthcare industry billions. For example, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), many of which are cause by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, cost healthcare between $36 and $45 billion annually. And with recent ACA provisions that financially penalize hospitals for high infection and re-admission rates, the time is now to combat the antibiotic-resistance crisis.
Incorporating antimicrobials into medical devices and surfaces has become an increasingly large part of healthcare organizations’ more stringent infection-prevention plans. And 2016 will be no different, but we’ll be seeing antimicrobials used in newer and more innovative ways to prevent, and ultimately help eliminate, these dangerous infections.
Now that we’ve discussed the overarching issue, we can delve into the 2016 trends in antimicrobials and healthcare. In our next blog post, we’ll walk through designing for infection prevention, antimicrobials and permanent implants and the rise of 3D printing.
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