About Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) - Minnesota Dept. of Health

About Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)

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

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

What are HAIs

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

  • HAIs 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 health care 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 Resources on Healthcare-Associated Infections
    Frequently asked questions about common HAIs from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. These include specific information about Clostridium difficile infections (CDI), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), and surgical site infections (SSI).
  • MDH Patient Safety
    MDH website promoting patient safety and the prevention of adverse health events.

Updated Monday, 04-Feb-2019 10:38:49 CST