Survey: 83% of Healthcare Consumers Would Feel Safer in Hospitals with COVID-19 Contact Tracing Technology
Amid push by California, Minnesota, Oregon and other states to require employees be notified of COVID-19 exposure, SwipeSense survey shows healthcare consumers believe hospital safety technology plays a critical role in ensuring their safety
CHICAGO, Feb. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened healthcare consumers' concerns about receiving care in a hospital system, according to a new survey conducted by SwipeSense, the industry's leading patient safety platform. The survey found that 73% of consumers feel concerned or extremely concerned about hospital safety, which represents a 46% increase in their level of concern since the onset of COVID-19.
Even more significantly, the survey found that healthcare consumers overwhelmingly feel that the use of technology to support patient safety initiatives would increase how safe they feel receiving care – with 83% reporting they would feel safer with contact tracing technology in place. Despite this strong patient preference, many hospitals still rely on manual contact tracing for COVID-19 and other infectious outbreaks. But these antiquated methods to determine exposure are time-consuming, often unreliable, and leave staff and patients at risk. In contrast, hospitals can leverage technology with real-time, employee-level data to automatically capture all contacts and empower faster, more accurate infection control.
Automated contact tracing enables hospitals to comply with new regulations requiring them to notify employees when they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. California employers, including hospitals, are required to provide such notice under a new law that took effect January 1. Hospitals in Minnesota and Oregon are covered by similar rules, while New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Mexico currently recommend, but do not require, that hospitals notify employees upon exposure to the virus.
In a related finding from the SwipeSense survey, 81% of healthcare respondents say they would feel safer in a hospital with electronic hand hygiene monitoring in place. Although handwashing has taken on increased importance in the public realm as a result of COVID-19, it has always been a key component of patient safety and infection prevention at hospitals to keep patients and staff safe from avoidable harm. Poor hand hygiene contributes to 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) annually and 100,000 of those HAIs result in patient deaths. However, hospitals that use SwipeSense technology have seen a reduction in HAIs by as much as 75% in one year.
Cliff Daniels, Chief Strategy Officer at Methodist Hospital of Southern California agrees. "COVID-19 has changed the dynamics of hospital safety. We had to identify and quickly implement additional, effective means to keep patients and staff safe. We believe that our significant investment in SwipeSense technology will enhance our ability to ensure the wellbeing of patients and staff through the use of real-time, meaningful metrics," said Daniels.
The SwipeSense survey indicates that patient safety and infection control technology, which hospitals often underinvested in as a result of constrained budgets prior to COVID-19, is now mission-critical for hospitals to instill trust in the public and get consumers back into their facilities to receive care. It also validates that fueling safe care delivery with technology is key to business growth – findings which are aligned with the results of a recent KLAS survey about vendor performance in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The KLAS survey revealed that 74% of healthcare executives plan to invest in more technology in 2021 to fuel recovery, despite 81% of those same executives reporting significant budget cuts.
"The survey is yet another data point to illustrate that safety is top-of-mind for patients— and health systems must embrace this in 2021 and beyond," said Mert Iseri, CEO of SwipeSense. "The broader implication is that patient safety is no longer just about reducing harm or improving outcomes. While those are critically important goals, investing in an advanced safety infrastructure will be a key driver of revenue and growth moving forward. Healthcare executives must prioritize building a tech-driven safety strategy, or they will be left behind."
SwipeSense is a Chicago-based healthcare technology company on a mission to eliminate harm and waste in healthcare delivery networks through an advanced safety platform. The platform's sensor network collects millions of data points and delivers robust insights to hospital leadership, clinicians, and staff, which not only support a culture of safety, but also reduce the cost of care and improve operational efficiency. Hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) leverage the company's safety platform to prevent infections, optimize use of their equipment, reduce falls, protect their staff, and drive positive, lasting behavior change. To learn more, please visit www.swipesense.com.