Are infections in healthcare facilities inevitable? What makes them so common? While there are many different possible infections that can occur affecting all body systems, there are several that are most common. Some may result in severe injuries to patients.
Common Infections in Healthcare Facilities
Urinary tract infections are the most common in both nursing home and hospitalized patients. The hospitalized patient may acquire a bloodstream infection due to the higher likelihood of having an intravascular medical device as a treatment modality or a surgical site infection, because even minor surgical procedures are rarely done in nursing homes.
Lower respiratory infections occur in inpatient care environments, and the hospitalized patient is more likely to need a ventilator, which may increase the risk of infection.
National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) provides the most complete data on infections in healthcare facilities. The NNIS data is based on reported surveillance data from nearly 300 participating hospitals. The NHSN is a voluntary online reporting system that is managed by Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP).
The CDC supports more than 2100 hospitals in 21 states that use the NHSN system of reporting. Some states have mandatory reporting of infections.
The four major sites of hospital-acquired infection include:
* Urinary tract infections (UTI),
* Lower respiratory infections, specifically pneumonia (PNEU),
* Surgical site infections (SSIs), and
* Bloodstream infections (BSIs).
Causes of Infections in Healthcare Facilities
- Medical devices and the hands of the staff at the facility cause the more infections. Most urinary tract infections are related to urinary tract instrumentation; especially indwelling catheters.
- Pneumonia in hospitalized patients on ventilators has been such a problem that a whole series of protocols were developed and publicized during the last decade.
- There are other risk factors, not the least of which is a surgical procedure, especially in patients who have wounds that are already contaminated as a result of traumatic injury or if there is spillage into the abdominal cavity from the bowels.
- Blood stream infections occur in patients with central line catheters, often with devastating results if the proper treatment is not instituted quickly.
Due to the rising number of patients requiring dialysis for the treatment of chronic renal failure associated with hypertension or diabetes, and other clinical manifestations, dialysis centers have found themselves in the predicament of reporting their infections.
A large majority of dialysis patients are covered by Medicaid and/or Medicare. Infections related to the deliverance of care are mandated to be reported to CMS and the local Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for the region.
Modified from “Infections in Hospitals and Nursing Homes” by Ginny Lee, MBA/HCM, MSN, RN, Luke Curtis, MD, MS, CIH, Jacqueline Vance RNC, CDONA/LTC and Lorraine M. Harkavy RN, MS in Pat Iyer, Barbara Levin, Kathleen Ashton and Victoria Powell, Nursing Malpractice, Fourth Edition
Hospital Acquired Infections – Whose fault are they?Get details about this webinar on infections in healthcare facilities at this link. If a patient gets a urinary tract infection, has someone been negligent? Learn the intriguing answer to this question when you purchase the digital download to watch at your convenience.