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Healthcare-Associated Infections and Safety Practice


The modern healthcare sector is focused on the provision of outstanding care to all clients or patients. For this reason, the gradual improvement of the quality of suggested care acquires the top priority. Health workers should act in ways that promote enhanced outcomes, customers satisfaction, and their readiness to cooperate. Additionally, numerous activities aimed at the establishment of the continuous improvement of the existing environment are performed.

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Unfortunately, the situation is far from the ideal one as numerous problems remain. Patients who need particular services might face multiple barriers related to financial, cultural, and health aspects. The comprehensive investigation of central reasons for the emergence of these barriers or problematic issues will contribute to their better understanding and creation of an efficient solution. For this reason, the pivotal aim of this paper is the in-depth investigation of the problem of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) that remain one of the factors that deteriorate outcomes and result in the growth of patients dissatisfaction.


Nevertheless, the healthcare-associated infection could be determined as the infection that was acquired in a hospital or other health care unit (Stichler, 2013). The topicality of the given problem is proven by the statistics demonstrating that 15% of all patients suffer from HAIs that deteriorate the state of their health and result in the appearance of undesired complications (Stichler, 2013). Additionally, clients of a particular medical unit might also have a high risk of getting HAIs. Therefore, diverse prevention strategies introduced to minimize this issues incidence have a positive impact on the problem as there is a reduction in the number of HAIs in different healthcare facilities starting from usual hospitals and ending with surgery rooms. However, there is still a significant number of patients who were infected in the healthcare setting. In such a way, the problem preserves its topicality and should be given much attention to finding an efficient solution to formulate basic causes for HAIs appearance and eliminate them.

Existing Knowledge

At the moment, there are diverse research papers that outline basic peculiarities of HAIs, primary sources of their emergence, and ways to reduce its numbers. To investigate the issue, researchers compare the national data from different hospitals and healthcare units across the state (Stichler, 2013). Using the quantitative approach supported by the efficient statistical tools, investigators conclude that the leading causes for the appearance of HAIs and their development in a particular health unit are health workers disregard of sanitarian norms, nonobservance of the hand hygiene, and inefficient cleaning (Chatfield, DeBois, Nolan, Craword, & Hallam, 2017).

Among these reasons, Stichler (2013) differentiates the first two aspects as those which might significantly deteriorate the functioning of the health unit and result in the development of undesired outcomes or the growth of dissatisfaction in patients. Using a qualitative approach and interviews, investigators find out that the bigger part of health specialists do not consider the disregard of sanitarian norms fundamental for the rise of the problem (Chatfield et al., 2017). For this reason, further investigation of the issue with the primary aim to find efficient solutions is needed.

Literature Review

In such a way, HAIs remain the major concern for nurses. For this reason, these health specialists are responsible for the creation of safety cultures and the cultivation of the appropriate environment that would contribute to the reduction in the incidence of this problem (Stichler, 2013). The modern research literature suggests a perspective stating that the nurses level of knowledge and expertise play a critical role in the prevention and mitigation of adverse effects associated with HAI (Stichler, 2013). Moreover, Stichler (2013) is sure that these workers experiences are central to the elimination of the problem and improved outcomes. In such a way, one of the possible solutions might include specific training aimed at the provision of extra knowledge about these infections and the way they might affect workers and patients. Stichler (2013) is sure that any hospital should be considered a hazardous environment that poses a particular threat to individuals and that is why it demands specific behaviors.

Speaking about the issue and its negative impact on patients, Mitha, Furuya, and Larson (2014) admit an outstanding significance of HAIs regarding HIV positive patients characterized by the alteration of their immune status. This sort of patient belongs to a risk group that demands specific treatment. However, diverse infections like specifically urinary tract infection (UTI), bloodstream infection (BSI), and respiratory tract infection (RTI) might appear among them in the healthcare setting (Mitha et al., 2014). It becomes an outstanding challenge for nurses working with HIV positive patients. The high level of HAIs incidence preconditions the development of adverse effects, including lethal ones. Having an altered immune status, individuals are not able to resist diverse diseases and suffer from multiple complications. In this regard, Mitha et al. (2014) are sure that the introduction of an efficient solution to improve the situation is critical for all groups of patients, including HIV positive ones.

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Delving into the issue, researchers also differentiate several causes for the appearance and development of HAIs, and hand hygiene of healthcare workers is one of these. Chatfield, DeBois, Nolan, Craword, and Hallam (2017) stat that this factor is a potent and modifiable infection control tool that is often disregarded and underestimated nowadays (Chatfield et al., 2017). Several metastudies state that the high incidence of HAIs is closely connected with poor hand hygiene and also indicates the disregard of basic sanitarian norms (Chatfield et al., 2017). For this reason, any attempt to alter the situation and attain enhanced outcomes should be connected with the significant improvement of this aspect. Chatfield et al. (2017) outline several approaches to achieve this goal that demonstrate the high efficiency combined with the simplicity of their implementation. The electronic hand hygiene monitoring tool is one of these. It helps to reduce the cases of nurses nonobservance of sanitarian norms and improve outcomes by guaranteeing appropriate and safe settings for all patients.

Jeanes, Dick, Coen, Drey, and Gould (2018) also discuss the efficiency of hand hygiene monitoring tools and their use in diverse healthcare facilities. Having conducted quantitative research with the primary aim to determine the feasibility and validity of the tool and discover barriers that might appear during its implementation, the authors conclude that direct observations might help collect data about violations of sanitarian norms or cases of misconduct (Jeanes et al., 2018). Thus, taking time to apply alcohol gel or wash hands before visiting a patient might be risky because of critical delays in the delivery of care. Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the suggested tool, Jeanes et al. (2018) conclude that electronic hand monitoring could be used in hospitals when visiting patients in stable states as it guarantees enhanced results and minimizes the risk of the appearance and development of HAIs.

However, the implementation of the above-mentioned tool is not enough to attain the enhanced efficiency and create a safe environment for patients and nurses. For instance, Jacob, Kasali, Steinberg, Zimring, and Denham (2013) assess the existing pieces of evidence about the infection control and healthcare design and state that the built environment is another significant factor impacting the development and spread of HAIs. A big part of the healthcare units lacks the specific equipment to guarantee appropriate ventilation, filtration, decontamination, and isolation (Jacob et al., 2013). Thus, the currents of fresh air decrease the risk of HAIs significantly. In this regard, the authors suggest a combination of hand hygiene monitoring tools with the transformation of the existing environment to ensure improved results (Jacob et al., 2013). This includes alterations in the design and the use of innovative technologies that guarantee constant circulation and income of fresh air. The given approach guarantees minimization of accidents of this sort and significant improvement of outcomes and customers satisfaction.


Altogether, nurses, today face numerous challenges and barriers that might deteriorate their functioning and result in the appearance of undesired outcomes in patients. HAIs belong to one of these. A patient who visits a hospital might be infected due to the disregard of sanitarian norms or basic hand hygiene norms. The given issue preserves its topicality regarding numerous attempts to improve the functioning of the sphere and attain enhanced results. The modern literature offers several perspectives on the problem and evaluates the efficiency of electronic hand hygiene monitoring tools combined with alterations in the design. Thus, it is critical to continue the investigation of the issue to improve its understanding and find an efficient solution.


Chatfield, S., DeBois, K., Nolan, R., Craword, H., & Hallam, J. (2017). Hand hygiene among healthcare workers: A qualitative meta summary using the GRADE-CERQual process. Journal of Infection Prevention, 18(3), 104-120. Web.

Jacob, J., Kasali, A., Steinberg, J., Zimring, C., & Denham, M. (2013). The role of the hospital environment in preventing healthcare-associated Infections caused by pathogens transmitted through the air. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 7(1), 74-98. Web.

Jeanes, A., Dick, J., Coen, P., Drey, N., & Gould, D. (2018). Hand hygiene compliance monitoring in anaesthetics: Feasibility and validity. Journal of Infection Prevention. Web.

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Mitha, M., Furuya, Y., & Larson, E. (2014). Risk of healthcare associated infections in HIV positive patients. Journal of Infection Prevention, 15(6), 214-220. Web.

Stichler, J. (2013). Healthcare-associated infections: The nursing perspective. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 17(1), 8-12. Web.

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