Healthcare-Associated Infections

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Healthcare-Associated Infections

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)Objectives:Following this presentation the Registered Nurse will be able to apply Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) principles as evidenced by being able to:1. Recognize the definition of HAIs, 2. Distinguish 4 facilities where HAIs can occur, 3. Recall 2 consequences a patient may experience when acquiring a HAI, 4. Compare the five types of HAIs, 5. Identify 3 strategies hospitals are focusing on to prevent HAIs6. State 2 functions of a Nurse Infection Preventionist (IP)What is a Healthcare-Associated Infection?According to (2015), "Health care-associated infections, or HAIs, are infections that people acquire while they are receiving treatment for another condition in a health care setting" (para. Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)).HAIs are infections that patients can acquired when being provided care and treatment in a variety of healthcare setting such as: *Acute care hospitals, -Urgent care units -Progressive care units *Long-term health care facilities, -Outpatient surgical centers, -Dialysis centers, -Rehabilitation facilities, -Urgent Care clinics and other community care clinics *Private home where patients are receiving home health care treatments (, 2015).There are many infectious agents that cause HAIs, auch as: 1. viruses, 2. bacteria, 3. fungi, 4. worms, and 5. protozoa.Statistics show that 1 in 25 acute care hospital patients will suffer from HAIs and its complications according to a report in 2015 (California Department of Public Health, 2015). (Go to YouTube video "Hospital Acquired infections & How to Prevent them" to the right)Hospitals and stakeholders are keenly aware of the enormous cost and high patient mortality rate created by HAIs. Patients also experience consequences when they acquire HAIs, in terms of: 1. extended hospitalization, 2. long term health consequences, 3. potential prolonged disabilities, 4. emotional exhaustion, and 5. potentially exhausting limited financial resources.What hospital procedures potentially increase the risk of acquiring a HAI?Different HAIs are linked to specific procedures that potentially increase the risk of HAIs, such as: 1. Medical devices a. indwelling urinary catheter -> Urinary tract infection b. endotracheal tubes --> Pneumonia 2. Catheter lines /Injections --> Blood stream infection 3. Surgical procedures --> Surgical site infection 4. Environment a. Contamination of patient care environment 5. Staff a. Spread of infectious organisms between hospital staff (vector) and patients b. Poor hand-hygiene technique (lack of education, reinforcement, and follow-up) 6. Over prescribing of antibiotics or improper use (development of resistant microorganism e.g. MRSA (, 2015)What are the 5 reportable HAIs?There are five categories of HAIs that are currently mandated to be reported by all hospital providing acute care in California. The 5 reportable HAIs are: 1. Central Line-associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSIs), -A bloodstream infection associated with patients that have a central line at the same time when the onset of sysptoms are present and other infections have been rules out -positive laboratory culture confirms infection 2. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Bloodstream Infection (BSI), -A strain of staphylococcus bacteria resistant to antibiotics known as "Beta Lactams", -Beta Lactams includes antibiotics such as amoxicillin, oxacillin, and penicillin to name a few, -Staph bacterial is normally found on skin but once it enters the body, it is the infection that becomes a problem especially for immuno compromised patients in the hospital setting. 3. Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) Bloodstream Infection (BSI) -Vancomycin specific antimicrobial resistant bacteria -Vancomycin traditionally is given to treat infections caused by enterococci bacteria -Enterococci bacteria is typically isolated in the intestinal tract, female genital tract, and in the environment, 4. Clostridium difficile Infection (C.difficile, C. diff., CDI, CDAD) -in some patients, C.diff bacterium develops with the extended use of antibiotics -In hospitals the bacterium is transferred in feces and can contaminate food, surfaces, and objects as a result of inadequate hand hygiene, -Symptoms can range from diarrhea to colitis -C. diff. spores can remain on surfaces or objects for extended periods (weeks/months) 5. Surgical Site Infection (SSI) -An infection occuring post operatively on the surgical site location, -SSIs can range from superficial to deepWhat is the focus in hospitals to prevent HAIs? 1. By far meticulous hand hygiene practices is the single most effective underused strategy to prevent HAIs (staff education and feedback are essential), 2. Adhere to universal precaution practices (gloves, masks, face shields etc.), 3. Clean hospital environment (correct cleaning agent used for the correction length of time), 4. Perform regular visual surveillance for compliance of the above practices, 5. Maintain excellent aseptic technique when indicated, 6. Monitor proper linen handling practices and disposal, 7. Assess the health of staff member (immunizations, colds, and or flu). Who are HAIs reportable too?The HAIs are reported directly to the California Department of Public Health by appropriate healthcare professionals, such as Infection Control Specialist or Nurse Infection Preventionists (IPs). What is the role of the Nurse Infection Preventionist?IPs are skilled infection control and prevention expert that work diligently to keep patients and visitors from acquiring HAIs. IPs perform: 1. clinical surveillance of HAI and other infections, 2. identify HAIs and infection trends, 3. compile and analyze data and formulate infection reports that include data, facts and infection trends, 4. share vital data reports with hospital management and regulatory agencies, 5. develop clinical evidenced-based practices to decrease or eliminate HAIs 6. educate and counsel family members on proper hand hygiene techniques and other infection control practices, 7. educate and train staff on effective EBP of infection control and prevention methods (CDC guidleline use), 8. Conduct environmental round checking hospital staff compliance with proper hand hygiene technique and providing immediate feedback, proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), environmental cleaning rounds, monitoring staff health, implementation of proper isolation areas.(cut and paste link to browser for further information on IPs) useful site for HAIs: Department of Public Health. (2015). Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs). Retrieved from (2015). National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination. Retrieved from

Topic PresentationElizabeth Mancilla, MSN (c), BSN, RN, PHN

A closer look at HAIs

Infection Control & Prevention

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)


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