Healthcare-Associated Infections

Healthcare Worker

Healthcare Worker

Healthcare-Associated Infections often lead to lengthened hospital stays, increasing the likelihood of readmission, and adding sizably to the cost of care per patient.

Since we are all potential candidates for contracting Healthcare-Associated Infections we should know what is being done to combat them. It seems ridiculous that an infection can afflict thousands of patients every year in a place that we believe to be the most sanitized place on earth. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), at any point in time, 1.4 million people worldwide suffer from infections acquired in hospitals. And, it’s not happening only in far away places.  Right here in the US, a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report published in March-April 2007 estimated the number of U.S. deaths from healthcare associated infections in 2002 at 98,987.

What is Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI)?
When someone develops an infection at a hospital or other patient care facility that they did not have prior to treatment, it is referred to as a Healthcare-Associated (sometimes hospital-acquired) Infection (HAI).

There are three broad categories that represent a significant percentage of HAIs.
1. Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP)
VAP is the source of the highest morbidity and mortality of all Healthcare Associated Infections.
2. Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)
Any breach of patient skin can lead to a surgical site infection
3. Cross Contamination (Contact Transfer)
Cross-contamination is the number one source of Healthcare Associated Infections

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are a global crisis affecting both patients and healthcare workers. It often leads to lengthened hospital stays, increasing the likelihood of readmission, and adding sizably to the cost of care per patient.

To protect patients by reducing the risk of HAI, healthcare professionals must continually update their knowledge of infection management.

As part of an ongoing commitment to quality care and infection prevention, doctors and hospitals are delivering continuing education programs on Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) prevention to staff and management. As simple as education sounds, busy doctors and nurses on the front lines of delivering care can find it difficult to find the time to take advantage of scheduled programs within their hospitals.

The HAI Education Program is part of a national infection awareness campaign for healthcare professionals called “Not on My Watch” and will provide the facility with a toolkit that contains informational flyers, patient safety tips and posters.

The “Not on My Watch” campaign provides accredited continuing education (CE) programs based on best practices and guidelines as well as research available on reducing the incidence of Healthcare-Associated Infections.

To learn more about the impact of Healthcare-Associated Infections for both medical professionals and patients, please visit the “Not On My Watch” campaign website.

From CBC News read: Hospital infections are riskier worldwide than flying