Hospital Acquired Infection

What is a Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI)?

An infection that is not active prior to healthcare interventions. Often a result of poor infection control compliance.

– Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America


Why is this important? 

  • Increasing bacterial resistance to traditional antibiotic treatment.
    • Bacteria are tougher than ever!
  • Higher acuity of patients living in the community.
    • Increasing daily exposure to bacteria and other potential pathogens.

“In hospitals, 1 out of 20 patients develops an HAI.”

“Nationwide, 2 million people develop an HAI each year.”

“Nearly 99,000 of these patients die as a result of their infection.”

– Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

Healthcare Professional (HCP) Prevention 

  • Adhere to proper hand hygiene
  • Use of appropriate isolation precautions
  • Meticulous disinfection/sterilization of medical equipment
  • Proper use of aseptic technique
  • Proper disposal of biohazards materials and sharps
  • Surveillance and monitoring infections
  • Patient education

What can I do to protect myself? 

  • Hand washing
    • (the number on way to reduce the spread of infection!)
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, include exercise and nutritional diet.
  • Advocate for yourself! Ask your HCPs if they washed their hands!
  • Know signs and symptoms of infection and seek early treatment
  • Stay up to date on immunizations/vaccines
  • Minimize time spent in medical facilities

It’s in your hands! 


(2015). Fox News Should I worry about hospital-acquired infections? [mp3]. Available from YouTube

Fox, C., Wavra, T., Drake, D., Mulligan, D., Jones, L., & Bennett, Y. (2015). Use of patient hand hygiene protocol to reduce hospital-acquired infections and improve nurses’ hand washing. American journal of critical care, 24(3), 216-224.

Garrett Jr, J. H. (2015). A Review of the CDC Recommendations for Prevention of HAIs in Outpatient Setting. AORN Journal, 101(5), 519-528.

Loffler, H., Bruckner, T., Diepgen, T., & Effendy, I. (2006). Primary prevention in health care employees: a prospective intervention study with a 3-year training period. Contact Dermatitis, 54, 202-209.

Paulo, L. (2008). Hospital-Acquired Infections can be deadly [mp3]. Available from YouTube

Spruce, L. (2013). Back to basics: hand hygiene and surgical hand antisepsis. AORN, 98(50), 449-460.

Walsh, M.D., E., & McCoy, N. (2008). PBS Second Opion Hospital Acquired Infection (Peter Seigal, M.D., Interviewer) [mp3]. Available from YouTube

4 thoughts on “Hospital Acquired Infection”

  1. I feel that patient education (and family) is sometimes the toughest way of preventing HAI’s. It’s hard sometimes to break it down into laymans terms on what exactly is happening. Contact precautions I find, are extremely difficult to process for family members. It is tough for them to wrap their heads around the fact that you have to wear gown and gloves in the room and then be sure to take it off before they leave.

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