Health Care Infections

Topics: Health care, Health care provider, Clostridium difficile Pages: 6 (1856 words) Published: June 18, 2013
The purpose of this research paper is to evaluate Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI), a common complication of hospital care and one of the top leading causes of death in the United States. The paper will explore the current issues of HAI, the problem examined, the significance, and what methods are currently being implemented to reduce the problem. Problem Background

The challenge that many hospital facilities are facing is how to avoid HAIs while treating patients for medical conditions. HAIs are infections caused by a variety of common bacteria, fungi and viruses that spread during the course of patients receiving medical care (“Enhancing Patient,” p. 118). They can also occur during the course of receiving treatment at home. Morbidity and Mortality are enormous issues associated with HAIs as 10 percent of all hospital admissions are complicated by these infections in both the United States and Western Europe. Just in the United States alone, an estimated 1.7-2 million people develop an HAI per year, killing nearly 100,000 people; based on these estimates, HAIs are considered as one of the top 10 leading deaths in the United States (“Enhancing Patient,” p. 118). Hospital-related HAIs alone are responsible for more than $30 billion dollars in preventable healthcare expenses yearly and are largely preventable and can be drastically reduced to save lives and avoid excessive costs (Wright, 2012, p. 8). The results of HAIs have not only left a tangible toll on the healthcare system, but it has also played a significant role in the loss of consumer confidence in the healthcare system. In response to this problem consumer advocacy groups, federal and state governments and health professionals have stepped up the pressure to make reduction of HAIs a national priority (“Enhancing Patient,” p. 118).

Now that we understand the issue of HAIs, this paper will address methods to help reduce the problem. The following literature review will analyze five academic articles that deal with HAI and how to implement actions to prevent these infections.

Literature Review
HAI Reduction Methods
Wright’s (2012) reports that there is no one simple formula that will lead to the prevention and elimination of HAIs in every setting and every facility and for every patient; however, well-established strategies to prevent and eventually eliminate HAIs have been tested and proven. .“These strategies include actions taken during patient care in the clinic and at the bedside; actions taken by executives, managers, and administrators of facilities and health systems; and abroad-based system changes that involve focused and concerted efforts by everyone … Monitoring and measuring HAIs is a critical component of the overall strategy to prevent and reduce HAIs” (Wright, 2012, p.11). Boyce (2012) found that Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) is a continued important healthcare problem in the U.S., as a substantial proportion now occurs in outpatient settings. Many of these infections are due to nontunneled catheters or long-term tunneled hemodialysis catheters and are referred to as HD CLABSIs (Boyce, 2012, p.936). In 2008, an estimated 37,000 HD-CLABSIs occurred among patients receiving outpatient hemodialysis requiring hospitalization. “In addition to the substantial morbidity and mortality suffered by affected patients, CLABSIs add significant cost to the healthcare system” (Boyce, 2012, p.936). Boyce (2012) suggests using a combination bundle of infection control measures have been shown to reduce CLABSI and is strongly recommended by a variety of healthcare organizations. The bundle includes hand hygiene prior to inserting the line, use of maximal barriers precautions when inserting central lines, cleansing of the skin at the catheter entry site, avoiding femoral line insertion whenever possible, and removing catheters when no longer indicated (Boyce, 2012, p.937).

Kuper, K. M., & Sertimus, E....
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