In recent years, the concept of sustainability has become widespread. But what role does sustainability and biodiversity play in the healthcare sector?
The term “sustainability” describes the ability of health services to provide healthcare as effectively as possible while also considering future generations. Utilizing resources without compromising patient care quality and the health of employees can be a challenging task.
Many countries will face demographic changes that put significant pressure on the public sector in the following years. According to the UN report, the number of people aged 65 years or over is projected to double by 20501. This means that with decreasing working-age population, there will be a shortage of labor. Moreover, an aging population will require higher quality of care over a more extended period. To meet the expectations of patients, we need to challenge the traditional thinking in healthcare.
The ability to collect and use data will grow tremendously in the coming years, and digital solutions will transform healthcare. The most significant challenge is figuring out how to use data appropriately to create a sustainable healthcare system.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), in addition to being horrible for the infected, pose a significant burden on healthcare organizations. HAIs affect hundreds of millions of global patients each year, which leads to increased mortality and financial losses for healthcare systems. 1 in 10 hospitalized patients will acquire at least one HAI, and as much as 30% of infected patients will get readmitted within 30 days2. In the bigger picture, this is not sustainable.
Although prevention strategies must be adjusted to healthcare systems that vary widely, hand hygiene remains applicable in all settings. It is one of the most critical measures for patient safety.
Besides, HAIs can be caused by microbes resistant to antibiotics which significantly contributes to the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance. A few years back, WHO highlighted a shared responsibility of the public and healthcare workers to prevent the spread of harmful antibiotic-resistant germs. One of the ways to facilitate the process is simply by improving hand hygiene.
It’s been clinically validated that healthcare organizations that introduce data-driven group feedback using the Sani Nudge system improve hand hygiene levels, decrease staff absenteeism and hospital-acquired infections. All of which contributes to patient/employee safety and more sustainable healthcare.
“Think globally, act locally” has never been more critical for the health and well-being of people worldwide. Let’s make healthcare more sustainable together.
- United Nations. (n.d.). World population ageing 2019: Highlights. Available at: https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/ageing/WorldPopulationAgeing2019-Highlights.pdf. [Accessed 30 November 2021].
- World Health Organization (2021). Patient Safety. [online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/patient-safety> [Accessed 30 November 2021].