About Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)

HAI are conditions resulting from the presence of an infectious agent(s) that occurs in a patient in a healthcare setting that was not present at the time of admission.

On this page:
What are HAI
HAI Prevention
Resources for Patient Safety

What are HAI

  • HAI occur in all settings of care including acute care within hospitals, same day surgical centers, ambulatory outpatient care in healthcare clinics, and long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities.

  • HAI are associated with a variety of causes including (but not limited to):
    • The use of medical devices, such as catheters and ventilators
    • Complications following a surgical procedure
    • Transmission between patients and healthcare workers
    • The result of antibiotic overuse

HAI Prevention: What Can You Do?

Be involved!

  • Be an active member of your health care team.
  • Take part in every decision about your health care.
  • Clean your hands. Wash your own hands thoroughly - use soap and running water for 15 seconds -after blowing your nose, after using the toilet and before eating or touching food or use alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.

Speak up!

  • Ask all health care workers and visitors who have direct contact with you whether they have washed their hands.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • Make sure your doctor knows about any allergies and adverse reactions you have had to medicines.
  • Make sure that all of your doctors know about the medication you are taking. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and dietary supplements such as vitamins and herbs.

Resources for Patient Safety

  • Patient Guides on Healthcare-Associated Infections
    Frequently asked questions about common HAI from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. These include patient guides for the following: surgical site infection (SSI), central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). Attention: Non-MDH link

  • MDH Patient Safety
    MDH website promoting patient safety and the prevention of adverse health events.

  • Minnesota Antibiotic Resistance Cooperative (MARC)
    MARC is a broad-based collaborative of health care organizations committed to decreasing antibiotic resistance in Minnesota. Attention: Non-MDH link

  • AHRQ: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
    Federal agency charged with improving the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of healthcare for all Americans. Attention: Non-MDH link


 



Updated Tuesday, 10-Jan-2012 13:52:06 CST