Cost-Benefit of Investing in Launderable Mattress Covers to Prevent CDIs

Edmond Hooker, MD, DrPH, discusses the cost benefit of investing in launderable hospital mattress covers to prevent CDIs.

Edmond Hooker, MD, DrPH, professor, Health Services Administration at Xavier University, and emergency physician at the University of Cincinnati, discusses the cost-benefit of investing in launderable hospital mattress covers to prevent CDIs.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“If you look at the average Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), the average cost is in the $34,000 range, and so, if you just prevent one infection, you paid for more than 1 Environmental Services (EVS) worker. If you prevent 2, 5, 10—we’ve prevented about 20 CDIs in the one published study that we had with using the launderable hospital mattress cover, which is another way to produce clean. You can produce clean in a lot of ways; this is just another way. But if you do that, it pays for the technology or for the personnel. And so, it makes a lot of sense, but it’s an upfront cost and I hear people talk about the soft cost. ‘Oh, that’s a soft cost.’ No, it’s not it; it’s a human being that you didn’t kill—first of all. Now, the government is starting to put in penalties for increased CDIs, so maybe there will be some financial pressure on the hospitals to go ahead and say, ‘Listen, we’ve got to clean better.’”

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