Traditionally, the prevention of infections focused solely on the patient outcomes with less regard to financial and resource usage during the prevention. However, with the emergence of the new trends in healthcare governance and accounting of resources there has been a need to place focus on the financial aspect of prevention (Lipke, & Hyott, 2010).
Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and as such, surgical site infections fall within this category where preventionists must focus on the financial implications both to the patient and the institution alongside patient outcomes. In the society, social class disparity has been reckoned as a major influencing factor in access to quality care (Chlebicki et al., 2013). In the need to avert the possibility of social and economical constraints limiting the access of quality care efforts have been placed to avert possible cases of surgical site infections. This is more so for those who cannot adequately fund the treatment of complications arising from such infections.
Pre-operative and post-operative procedures in surgery are considered crucial aspects of the outcome. Chlorhexidine is regarded as one of the common and most effective skin antiseptic against most a wide range of skin pathogens with the potential to cause infections and complications after surgery (Chlebicki et al., 2013). In the solution of 2%, Chlorhexidine gluconate has been seen to reduce up to 99.1% of staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureus is essentially the most prevalent and skin-antiseptics-resistant pathogen that causes surgical site infections within a short period of up to three minutes of application (Lipke, & Hyott, 2010).
Surgical site infections have been classified as having a higher mortality rate as well as increasing morbidity. In this regard, the costs of treating surgical site infections and associated complications has been estimated at between $40,000 and $53,625 way above the costs of treatment during the surgery (Lipke, & Hyott, 2010). This then would place a significant financial burden on patients, especially if they do not have an insurance cover that would extend to treatment of HAIs and have a low-income base. Thus, application of Chlorhexidine gluconate during pre-operative stage of surgery would substantially reduce the possibilities of mortality and morbidity in the outcomes aspect (Chlebicki et al., 2013). On a wider aspect; it would help alleviate the issue of financial costs to both the patient and the healthcare institution which are crucial aspects of the modern day healthcare setting.
Chlebicki, M. P., Safdar, N., O’Horo, J. C., & Maki, D. G. (2013). Preoperative chlorhexidine shower or bath for prevention of surgical site infection: a meta-analysis. American journal of infection control, 41(2), 167-173.
Lipke, V. L., & Hyott, A. S. (2010). Reducing surgical site infections by bundling multiple risk reduction strategies and active surveillance. AORN journal, 92(3), 288-296.