Xenex Disinfection Services, the world leader in UV room disinfection systems for healthcare facilities, today announced the availability of its HCAHPS Improvement Program, which is designed to help hospitals raise their Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) cleanliness scores.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is phasing in a combination of incentives, penalties and public reporting requirements to affect operational behaviors and outcomes in U.S. hospitals. Xenex has long been able to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of its room disinfection system in reducing the considerable costs of caring for patients that acquire infections; however, with the added financial motivation of the new CMS programs, many Xenex customers are discovering an additional financial benefit from their investment as a result of improvements in their HCAHPS scores.
Cleanliness of the hospital environment is one of the questions included in the HCAHPS survey and one measure of patient satisfaction. Xenex customer Trinity Medical Center recently received at-risk reimbursement funds after the introduction of the Xenex room disinfection system, when the hospital’s score for cleanliness and overall HCAHPS scores moved up a quartile.
“Hospitals do a lot to make patients safe but often fail to tell the patients what they are doing for them. The Xenex device provides a safer environment for our patients and serves as a visible reminder about our efforts. We came up with a program to share this information with our patients and it was extremely successful. We could have purchased several Xenex devices with the reimbursement we received through exceeding the Value Based Purchasing requirements and subsequently receiving our maximum “at-risk” reimbursement from CMS when our HCAHPS scores went up. It’s the best possible outcome – we’ve seen a reduction in infections and we’ve improved patients’ perception of our facility,” said Lori Fornwalt, RN, CIC, Infection Prevention Coordinator at Trinity Medical Center.
Solving a Global Health Crisis
Xenex’s portable UV room disinfection system uses pulsed xenon ultraviolet light to quickly destroy the viruses, bacteria, mold, fungus and bacterial spores in the patient environment that cause healthcare associated infections (HAI). Uniquely designed for ease of use and portability, the germ-zapping robot can be operated by a hospital’s environmental services staff without disrupting hospital operations. With a five minute disinfection cycle, the device disinfects dozens of rooms per day, including patient rooms, operating rooms (ORs), equipment rooms, emergency rooms, intensive care units (ICUs) and public areas. The Xenex device contains no mercury and is the only “green” technology used in automated room disinfection.
“There is peer-reviewed evidence that patient satisfaction is higher when patients and families are participants in an HCAHPS Improvement Program which informs them that the Xenex robot will disinfect their hospital room and boost their safety,” said Dr. Mark Stibich, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Xenex. “We developed the HCAHPS Improvement Program to share information and best practices across our entire customer base. At Xenex, our mission is to destroy the microorganisms that cause infections and harm patients. It’s extremely rewarding for us that in addition to fewer infections, our customers are benefiting because patients understand that the hospital is going above and beyond to get their room clean – and HCAHPS scores and reimbursement go up as a result.”
Xenex Customer Boosts HCAHPS 10 Percent
Trinity Medical Center recently published its HCAHPS improvement results in the peer-reviewed journal Risk Management & Healthcare Policy. According to paper author Lori Fornwalt, Trinity was not satisfied with its HCAHPS scores despite efforts to improve them. The facility implemented the Xenex room disinfection system in 2012 and conducted a patient awareness campaign, in conjunction with Xenex, aimed at educating the patients about the extra efforts the hospital was taking to keep patients safe. As a result, the hospital’s score for cleanliness moved up a quartile and its overall HCAHPS scores improved a quartile also. This improvement in the patient experience was associated with significant financial benefits to the hospital.
“The recent HCAHPS improvement data from Trinity Medical Center and our HCAHPS Improvement Program add yet another layer of financial benefit to becoming a Xenex customer,” said Morris Miller, CEO of Xenex. “In addition to the impact on patient infection rates and related incentives, bonuses and savings, Xenex customers are also enjoying a significant patient perception improvement, which is another measure by which CMS rewards top performing hospitals. Achieving these kinds of increases will have a dramatic effect on a hospital’s bottom line.”
Published Studies Validate Xenex’s Efficacy on Deadly Pathogens
Peer reviewed studies have proven that the Xenex technology is highly effective at eliminating bacteria, viruses and even C. diff spores in the hospital environment. Nearly 200 hospitals and Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities in the U.S. are using the Xenex room disinfection system, which has proven to be 20 times more effective than standard chemical cleaning practices. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported a reduction in the number of patients contracting C. diff and VRE infections after the Xenex system was used to disinfect patient rooms. A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control (August 2013) reported that Cooley Dickinson Hospital experienced a 53 percent decrease in the rate of hospital-acquired C.diff infections after implementing the Xenex system. A study published in Journal of Infection Prevention in 2013 reported that Cone Health experienced a 56 percent reduction in its rate of hospital acquired MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) after implementing an infection prevention program that included Xenex’s room disinfection system.