Questions to Ask Yourself Before Investing in Infection Control Technology
Whether you’ve just had a successful sales call with an infection control technology rep, returned to your facility after an intriguing visit to a trade show, or have just been doing your research on infection control trends, you feel ready to invest. You know that infection prevention is a key priority for many healthcare facilities that want to reduce the harm that can be caused by hospital-acquired infections from an improper protocol.
But before you go to your administrator and ask for a check, it’s important to consider whether you’re making the investment for the right reason and how you and your team will use the new technology if you do make the purchase.
Following are a few of the questions that you should be asking before you make a new purchase.
Will my team use this?
Simple infection control techniques like hand washing can be some of the most effective in preventing hospital-acquired infections. Before these basics are mastered, your facility stands little chance of improving its infection control protocol.
Ask yourself if your team is ready to take on the responsibility of a new tool. If you’re already struggling every day to get them to use the technology that’s already at their disposal, you may not be ready to make a big change.
Will new training be required?
New infection control technology can only be implemented if someone knows how to use it. For effective infection control, multiple people will need to know how to use that new technology, which may require training. It’s important that this training time, as well as any resources required for the training (including time or outside instructors), be included in your plan for the new technology. Further, you should identify how trained an individual must already be (e.g., is this technology only suitable for nurses and those with a comparable clinical background?) to be an effective user.
Does the new technology fill a gap or replace an existing tool?
Every person that has upgraded their cell phone knows the temptation of buying something just because it is new. However, in a clinical environment, you should be as strategic as possible about these choices. Determine whether the technology that you want to buy will replace something that has become obsolete or fill a gap in your infection control protocols that is putting patients at risk. If the answer to both of these questions is no, it may be worth reconsidering the purchase.
What is the cost per use of the new technology?
The cost of a piece of new technology is often top of mind, since staying within budget is a priority for virtually every healthcare facility. However, when investing in infection control technology, you should be considering the cost per use of the new equipment in addition to the initial purchase cost. Some infection control may require the regular purchase of chemicals or may increase utility usage in the facility, which needs to be taken into account.
This list is not necessarily an exhaustive list, and each facility will have its process for dealing with new investments. Start with these questions to get a clearer picture of whether you’re ready and able to update your infection control technology.