How to Prevent Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs)

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How to Prevent Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs)



Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are among the most significant health concerns in the United States. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the mortality, comorbidity, and increased period that patients spend in hospitals make it essential to devise strategies for infection prevention in hospitals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observes that approximately 4% of patients in U.S. hospitals battle HAIs at some point during treatment. Besides increasing the burden of medical bills, HAIs can cause irreparable harm to the body and even lead to death. Consider the following guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to maintain proper hygiene.

Prevent Infections With Regular Hand-Washing

An effective way of preventing HAIs is through proper hand washing. Healthcare providers should inform their patients about the significance of this personal hygiene practice because it can impact their health. A report from the BMC Public Health Journal indicates that washing hands with warm water for 20 seconds dramatically reduces the chances of contracting HAIs. Therefore, hospital staff should always wash their hands before caring for patients or eating. Healthcare providers and patients are both at risk of contracting HAIs, so it's essential to develop regular hand washing habits to best prevent the spread of diseases.

Develop Infection-Control Policies

In most cases, patients are more vulnerable to HAIs, so hospital infection control and prevention policies require outlining how to safeguard their health. Among the things that control guidelines for infection prevention, hospitals should address patient health history and preexisting or underlying conditions. Infection control policies would essentially outline when it's necessary to implement emergency measures to safeguard everyone's health in the facility.

Identify Contagious Diseases

Highly contagious infections test the innermost capabilities of the healthcare sector. It's vital to identify potential infectious diseases early on and isolate those sick individuals that may be exposed as part of the hospitals' infection control and prevention mechanism. Most HAIs emanate from highly contagious infections and spread quickly if not contained. If a patient receives a diagnosis for such a condition, the individual should be isolated immediately to protect other people in the hospital.

Ensure Patients Wear Shoes

Patients should always wear shoes or nonslip socks whenever walking around the healthcare facility this minimizes exposure to HAIs. Nurses often work in several hospital areas and this can increase their risk of carrying pathogens on the floor from one room to another.  Healthcare facilities should ensure that patients' rooms are regularly disinfected, especially on the floor and doors, to minimize disease-causing pathogens. 

Even seemingly minor infections can result in severe health consequences, especially when a patient has an underlying or pre-existing medical condition. It is crucial to follow the protocols of infection prevention in hospitals to safeguard patients' and healthcare providers' health. The guidelines discussed here are part of the effort that can ensure everyone is safe from HAIs.

Written by: Crothall