The public is increasingly engaged in matters of health literacy, particularly around issues of hospital hygiene. People are coming to understand that infection rates can be reduced through equipment designed to effectively withstand rigorous cleaning protocols. No longer limited to operating rooms and board rooms, conversations about the cleanability and safety of medical equipment are happening in living rooms. Consequently, hospital purchasing decisions are being impacted by end users—patients, their families and their physicians.
Many people check complication/infection rates of healthcare professionals and facilities before scheduling procedures. They are, in effect, shopping for healthcare solutions before choosing healthcare providers. Due to the prevalence of healthcare-associated infection (HAI), the public trust has been broken between patients and care providers, who must work to win it back with proven protocols and transparent processes to ensure patient safety. Patients who share their personal stories about HAIs are raising public awareness of the issue and possible solutions.