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Could algorithms help with fighting infections at hospitals?

On Behalf of Cronin & Maxwell

When you are at a private-sector hospital here in the Jacksonville area, you expect your health to be protected. However, it is possible to be subjected to health dangers during a hospital stay. One such danger is a risk of infection.

Patients could face many different infection risks

There are a wide range of infections that could end up spreading through hospitals. Such infections can greatly impact patients, possibly even endangering their lives.

There are many things that could potentially cause you to develop an infection while at a hospital. In some instances, missteps by hospitals or their staff increase patient likelihood of getting exposed to an infection. So, what steps are taken at hospitals regarding infection prevention matters greatly.

Another thing that can be very impactful for patients is how quickly they are properly diagnosed when they develop infections at hospitals. The longer infections go undetected and untreated, the more they time they can have to grow in their severity and effects.

Algorithms and the battle against hospital infections

Could technology provide important new tools for fighting hospital infections?

Algorithms and machine learning are currently used in many different fields. There have begun to be efforts to develop health care applications for these technologies. It is thought that algorithms could have a variety of helpful uses when it comes to diagnosing patients. The possibility has been raised that they could also have applications in fighting hospital infections.

Take an algorithm researchers recently developed related to Clostridium difficile. This infection, commonly known as C-diff, can pose major dangers at hospitals. The algorithm analyzes data in order to predict the C-diff risks of patients. Such predictions could in theory help hospitals identify which of their patients would be most at risk for this infection. One could see how such information could be very valuable in fighting hospital infections. This algorithm is currently in the experimental phase.

As further efforts are taken to bring algorithms into the field of health care, one wonders how big of an impact AI and machine learning will have when it comes to important patient health issues such as hospital infections.

Seeking justice when hospitals act negligently regarding infections

Now, while technology may provide hospitals with new tools for fighting infections, how safe patients are from infections will continue to be dependent on how vigilant hospitals are at using the tools available to them. When hospitals act negligently in relation to the prevention or detection of infections, patients can suffer greatly.

What can patients and their families do if negligence by a private hospital leads to the development or worsening of an infection? Well, in such instances, it may be possible to pursue a medical malpractice claim to try to get just compensation. So, if you or a family member has suffered due to a hospital not acting properly in connection to infections, you may want to explore your options on this front.

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