4 Ways to Stop Infection & Prevent Hospital-Acquired Infections

infection prevention for stopping hospital acquired infections
Written by
Jeremy Booher
October 17, 2022

October 16-22 Is International Infection Prevention Week

Every third week of October is dedicated to educating people on how important it is to stop the spread of infectious diseases. This week is known as International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW). If your organization would like to become a sponsor for this awareness campaign, please see this PDF. Keep reading to learn four key measures to help prevent infection and understand more about the importance of preventing hospital-acquired infections.

C-Diff. RSV. Flu. COVID-19. These diseases and more can be spread from people's homes, hospitals, and workplaces, which can compromise healthcare workers' efforts and have a heavy impact on the public's health. This week is dedicated to learning about disease prevention, avoiding global pandemics, and avoiding the spread of infectious pathogens and infection prevention. Many ideas for infection prevention week can keep people, healthcare workers, and patients safer from catching or passing on contagious diseases.

What Are Hospital-Acquired Infections?

Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are contagious infections contracted while staying or being treated at a healthcare facility

How To Prevent Hospital-Acquired Infections?

The World Health Organization (WHO) is dedicated to supporting the Member States to create a clean environment to avoid the spread of disease through quality care, with infection prevention control (IPC)-studied practices. Without safety measures, the spread of outbreaks could affect hundreds of millions of people, which is why the importance of preventing infections in hospitals and healthcare centers cannot be understated. No one should have to go for treatment at a hospital and catch an avoidable disease.

Importance In Sanitation And Controlling The Spread Of Infectious Diseases

The importance of avoiding spreading infectious diseases can't be stressed enough. 

Being in a healthcare facility can put a patient at risk of contracting a contagious disease if proper guidelines are not followed. Furthermore, healthcare workers are also at risk for infection when appropriate measures are not in place. Here are some steps and precautions that can be taken to avoid the spread of the disease.

1. Hand Hygiene:

Hand hygiene is the most crucial strategy that should be used in health facilities to prevent the spreading of infections. Healthcare staff should always wash hands before touching patients and also wear gloves. Medical staff should always ensure they wash their hands and forearms before entering surgical rooms. They should also clean their hands when they leave the surgical rooms. Cleaning upon exit is just as crucial as cleaning when going in.

2. Cleanly Environment:

Having a clean environment keeps diseases from spreading clean environment for everybody's safety when taken seriously. Regularly keeping all garbage disposed of is a must; this includes all medical waste. Having a schedule of trash disposal and instructions on an infection control protocol of proper sanitation is not an option but is to be taken seriously. 

3. Keeping A Constant Screening Of Patients:

All patients should be checked for infections upon arrival and throughout their stay. This protects that patient, surrounding patients, and the healthcare workers from contracting any contagious disease.

4. Contracting Cleaning Services:

Some hospitals and others contract professionally trained cleaners trained in sanitation and following all measures to ensure a safe stay at the facility.

Important Infection Statistics:

Many people who catch HAI lives are changed, some having to require long-term care. Of patients who go for treatment, 1 out of 25 contracts an infection unrelated to their prior reason for seeking treatment. People affected by acquiring these infections from healthcare facilities are readmitted within 30 days of being discharged by 60%. When visitors, patients, or healthcare workers become contaminated by touching unclean surfaces, they or other people in the facilities transmit the microbes. However, if areas seem clean, it's not always safe. Estimates of cross-infections through the hands of the personnel who have contaminated themselves through patient contact contribute to 20 to 40% of healthcare-associated diseases.

Deficit Reduction conditions caused by evidence of preventable conditions and not following guidelines are not covered through Medicare. The liability rests on the hospitals and insurance companies. The Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program has penalized hospitals with the highest HAI rates, reducing Medicare payments by 1%. Since 2021 774 hospitals have received penalties. Here are statistics for hospitals' infection rates at https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/.

Nursa Brings Qualified Healthcare Workers Into The Environment

Fully-staffed healthcare facilities are better able to make sure the fight not to spread contagious disease is better under control. Maintaining adequate staffing and safe nurse-to-patient ratios helps ensure that all the patients are well-attended. A simple app that can be downloaded helps to keep trained professionals on hand for any facility that might be short-staffed.

If you are passionate about infection prevention, you might want to explore the career path of becoming an infection preventionist.

Blog published on:
October 17, 2022

Meet Jeremy, a contributing copywriter, editor, and publisher at Nursa who specializes in topics around licensing, clinician salaries, and per diem job locations.

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