Vickie Kaminski says she will fire managers who do not meet Eastern Health’s new efficiency targets.
The question is, how will these efficiencies be measured?
In monetary terms only, or in more positive patient outcomes?
Will efficiency targets in hospital cleaning be measured by a reduction in the number of hospital-acquired infections cases — namely C. difficile, and also MRSA and VRE?
One would certainly hope so, as these diseases can cause misery, prolonged hospital stays, long term recovery times and even death.
These hospital acquired infections are on List C of the province’s Notifiable Disease List so have to be reported to the Regional Medical Officer of Health and are “monitored and shared among the four regional health authorities and the Public Health Division of the Department of Health and Community Services.”
However, they are not included
in the Newfoundland and Labrador Communicable Disease Surveillance Monthly Disease Reports which are available on the Department of Health and Community Services website.
So how will we know if the number of cases of hospital acquired infections has decreased — or even increased — in individual hospitals and nursing homes when the figures are not made public?
In addition to hospital and nursing home cleaning, what effect will staffing cutbacks in other departments have on these infection rates since prevention requires frequent and adequate hand washing by all staff?