Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a global health burden because of their impact on treatment outcomes, such as increased costs in healthcare services. They are characterized by a rise in patient morbidity and mortality. HAIs increase healthcare expenses since they increase the length of hospital stays and require additional medical care (Rattanaumpawan & Thamlikitkul, 2017). There is a need to control and prevent hospital-acquired infections because they contribute to higher patient care costs and require practitioners’ use of defensive medicine.
The different infection control mechanisms that have been put in place by hospitals are effective in preventing and controlling HAIs. According to Rattanaumpawan and Thamlkitkul (2017), a recent meta-analysis study discovered that the five major HAIs increased healthcare costs by $9.8 billion per year. Most hospital-associated infections are avoidable, and thus healthcare management needs to take control early enough. At least two-thirds of the cases related to catheter urinary tract infections and central line-related bloodstream infections can be prevented, as seen in evidence-based practice (Rattanauwampawan & Thamlikitkul, 2017). Consequently, more than 50% of all skin and soft tissue infections and ventilator-related pneumonia are controlled (Rattanauwampawan & Thamlikitkul, 2017). Managing strategies are vital in helping to reduce hospital-related infections. Healthcare providers are required to implement hospital infection deterrence and control approaches to reduce medical-related costs. In 2009, Medicaid and Medicare stopped offering payment for certain HAIs that were not present at some admission point but occurred during hospital stays (Rattanauwampawan & Thamlikitkul, 2017). Such a policy was implemented to encourage hospitals to adopt infection control strategies using financial incentives.
Understanding the causes of healthcare-associated infections is essential since it will help such diseases to be prevented and controlled. The majority of intensive care unit (ICU)-associated HAIs are due to multidrug-resistant bacteria (MDRB) (Su et al., 2020). Globally, the incidences of HAIs due to MDRB (MDRB-HAIs) are at 40% (Su et al., 2020). Healthcare policymakers must understand the impacts of MRDB-HAIs if they are to allocate resources to control such infections effectively (Su et al., 2020). Cost-effective measures are needed to prevent HAIs and reduce healthcare providers’ and patients’ burdens. HAIs, if left uncontrolled, result in increased financial expenditures and mortality rates.
The occurrence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is dependent on infection control practices and policies. Healthcare facilities must implement proper procedures to prevent HAIs. All hospitals must make it a priority to put a stop to HAIs since it is a crucial step in achieving patient safety (Wang et al., 2019).
Healthcare practitioners must monitor the vital constituents of infection control together with ways of prevention. Healthcare organizations must provide teaching and guidance on infection deterrence and control issues. According to Wang et al. (2019), secondary and tertiary care hospitals are increasingly offering regular postgraduate infection control and prevention training. The education provided to stop HAIs focuses on enhancing infection prevention and control skills and knowledge. The training also promotes hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers and other professionals who work in the healthcare setting and are likely to have physical contact with patients (Wang et al., 2019). The objective of training and providing prevention and control education is to ensure that HAIs reduce.
The care required to control HAIs increases hospital costs for patients and healthcare providers. Education and training of healthcare providers will help to prevent and control HAIs in the hospital setting. Healthcare financiers such as Medicare have urged hospitals and practitioners to observe infection control practices and policies. The major HAIs are deadly if left untreated but can be prevented if hospitals have clear guidelines on how patients and the hospital environment should be handled. There is an urgent need to develop more strategies to avert healthcare-associated infections because they are a worldwide burden.
Rattanaumpawan, P., & Thamlikitkul, V. (2017). Epidemiology and economic impact of healthcare-associated infections and cost-effectiveness of infection control measures at a Thai university hospital. American Journal of Infection Control, 45(2), 145-150. Web.
Su, L., Chen, I., Tang, Y., Lee, J., & Liu, J. (2020). Increased financial burdens and lengths of stay in patients with healthcare-associated infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria in intensive care units: A propensity-matched case-control study. PLOS ONE, 15(5), 1-11. Web.
Wang, J., Liu, F., Tan, J. B., Harbarth, S., Pittet, D., & Zingg, W. (2019). Implementation of infection prevention and control in acute care hospitals in Mainland China – a systematic review. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, 8(1), 1-16. Web.