How the Right Words Can Deliver a 6-Figure Payoff

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media , September 14, 2011

Though the compliance study was only monitored over two weeks, just two weeks of increased adherence can be meaningful, the study authors say. Just how meaningful? The annual impact of successful signage can have a six-digit payoff.

"We estimated the number of infections prevented in the experimental conditions to be between two and nine, at a cost savings in the range of $9,000 to $30,000 [during the two weeks]," the study says. "This is a substantial return on investment considering the minimal costs of printing and posting signs."

If the increased adherence were sustained for a year across the hospital, the potential benefits include preventing over 100 infections and saving over $300,000, according to the study. Signage savings can add up for hospitals looking to lower bottom lines.

Hand washing can seem like a no-brainer. As it turns out, the answer to this simple problem is a simple solution---a message that hits physicians over the head: Do it for the patients!

The payoff amounts to saved lives, saved dollars, and saving-face.

Questions? Comments? Story ideas? Anna Webster, Online Content Coordinator for HealthLeaders Media, can be reached at
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1 comments on "How the Right Words Can Deliver a 6-Figure Payoff"

D.Goins, LCSW (9/23/2011 at 2:48 PM)
perhaps a more graphic posting would help as well. I've worked in hospitals for most of my career, & therefore, attended universal precautions lectures on many occasions. I've seen the signs, heard the lectures, but no one has said "the rest of the story". When you do not wash your hands after using the toilet, when you go to eat, return to the restroom, go to the toilet & eat/drink your fill. & if that isn't disgusting enough... If you eat/drink, shake hands/touch anyone who hasn't washed their hands after using the toilet, &/or touched something they have then you might as well join them because you are ingesting/handling the things no one's body will handle. That's why it is waste. I hope this brings home just what the effects are of not washing your hands after your body rids itself of offal. Frankly, I don't want to eat my own offal, never mind your's! WASH YOUR HANDS, FOLKS. PLEASE!




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