According to a new study, patients in private hospital rooms are less likely to develop infections, which can save money for hospitals.

The findings show that the costs of building private hospital rooms are more than offset by the health care savings of preventing hospital-acquired infections, according to the researchers.

“We showed that although single-patient rooms are more costly to build and operate, they can result in substantial savings compared with open-bay rooms — all of this by avoiding costs associated with hospital-acquired infections,” study lead author Hessam Sadatsafavi, a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University, said in a university news release.

The researchers determined the costs of building single rooms or converting multi-patient rooms to private rooms, and the annual operating costs. They then examined the “internal rate of return,” which determines if a project is financially feasible.

Building new private rooms or converting multi-patient rooms into single rooms resulted in an internal rate of return of more than 56 percent over five years, which is much higher than the rate of return that health care organizations deem to be acceptable, the researchers said.

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