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Hospital-Acquired Infections: Leadership Action Plan

Overview of hospital-acquired infections

Hospital-acquired or nosocomial infections are conditions that patients develop while in a healthcare facility and were absent at the time of admission. They are exacerbated by factors, such as the environment in which care is provided, and the condition and susceptibility of the patient (Khan et al., 2017). They are caused by bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. The various types of nosocomial infections include surgical site, urinary, and respiratory, and vascular catheter infections.

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Epidemiology of hospital-acquired infections

  • Prevalence on hospital-acquired infections globally
  • Prevalence of urinary tract infections
  • Prevalence of surgical wound infections
  • Prevalence of ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Prevalence of primary bloodstream infections

Nosocomial infections are prevalent in healthcare facilities, with approximately 15% of admitted patients suffering from them. Urinary tract infections are the most common (36%), followed by surgical wound infections (20%) and lastly pneumonia and bloodstream infections (11%) (World Health Organization, 2002).

Prevention of hospital-acquired infections

  • Importance of preventing hospital-acquired infections
  • Differential hospital-acquired infection risk by patient and interventions
  • Strategies to decreasing person to person transmission
  • Strategies for reducing environment to person transmission
  • Precautions of infection control inpatient care

It is essential to control nosocomial infections as it will lead to decreased mortality rates, readmissions, and admission costs. Depending on the immunity of affected patients, different procedures are applied as the risk of infection is variable (World Health Organization, 2002). There are several strategies for preventing nosocomial infections, and they range from person-to-person (hand decontamination, personal hygiene, personal protective equipment, and safe injection practices) to environment-to-person (cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing the environment).

Prevention of the frequent types of hospital-acquired infections

  • Most common types of hospital-acquired infections
  • Prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Prevention of surgical sites or wound infections
  • Prevention of hospital-acquired respiratory infections
  • Prevention of infections associated with intravascular lines

The most prevalent types of hospital-acquired infections include surgical wounds, urinary tract, and primary bloodstream infections, and pneumonia (World Health Organization, 2002). Due to the different modes of transmission, each condition is associated with its distinct preventive strategies.

Stakeholders involved in infection control programs

  • Surveillance on the rate of hospital-acquired infections
  • Roles of the federal government in infection control
  • Roles of the state and local government
  • Roles of healthcare facilities in infection control
  • Roles of patients in infection control

Nosocomial infections require either active or targeted epidemiological surveillance to monitor performance improvement in preventive and control strategies. The key stakeholders involved in nosocomial infection occurrence and control comprise the federal government, state and local health departments, healthcare facilities, and patients (World Health Organization, 2002). The federal government, with the help of state and local health departments, supports prevention programs and test innovative infection control and prevention techniques. Healthcare facilities implement protocols formulated by the health departments. Conversely, patients practice good hygiene.

Solutions to nosocomial infections, and their purpose, cost, and desired outcome

  • Preventive solutions and the associated costs
  • Medical solutions and the associated costs
  • Antimicrobial use and resistance in infection treatment
  • Surgical solutions and the associated costs
  • Comparison of preventive, medical, and surgical solutions

The three leading solutions to reducing nosocomial infections include preventive, medical, and surgical solutions. Preventive solutions are characterized to take a longer duration as compared to medical and surgical solutions. Moreover, preventive strategies minimize the occurrence of infections, while the latter promotes healing. It is recommended for antimicrobial medications to be administered after a successful diagnosis as frequent use might result in resistance.

Reason for preventive strategies being more effective than medical and surgical strategies

  • Prevention – the best solution to hospital-acquired infection control
  • Comparison between preventive and medical solutions
  • Comparison between preventive and surgical solutions
  • Empirical evidence supporting preventive strategies
  • The most effective type of preventive measure

Interventions exceeding 6 months are associated with higher savings-to-cost ratios (Arefian et al., 2016). Therefore, this suggests that prevention solutions are more feasible and effective as compared to preventive and medical solutions. Nevertheless, observing hand hygiene has been identified as the single most effective preventive method (Haque et al., 2018).

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Action plan

Nosocomial infections are a significant problem in healthcare facilities. The primary action required is to ensure that all healthcare staff is educated on relevant preventive measures. The lead persons will be the nurses-in-charge as they will be responsible for their given units. Preventive strategies are long-term and lack an expiration date. The effectiveness of the preventive strategies will be measured by the prevalence of nosocomial infections in the facility.


With the increased prevalence of hospital-acquired infections and resistance to antimicrobials, the need for implementing preventive strategies is crucial. This is because these infections are linked to increased mortality rates and financial implications. The most affordable yet cost-effective method of reducing the onset of nosocomial infections is hand washing. Reflection

This paper is centered on the prevalence, implications, and solutions to hospital-acquired infections. The research and information gathered about the topic have further cemented my knowledge of such infections. For instance, it has negated my assumption on the solutions in that the expensive strategies are most effective. Therefore, if nursing professionals embrace this information, it would improve the quality of care; hence, revolutionizing the healthcare sector.


Arefian, H., Vogel, M., Kwetkat, A., & Hartmann, M. (2016). Economic evaluation of interventions for prevention of hospital acquired infections: A systematic review. PLOS ONE, 11(1), 1-15. Web.

Haque, M., Sartelli, M., McKimm, J., & Abu Bakar, M. (2018). Healthcare-associated infections – An overview. Infection and Drug Resistance, 11, 2321–2333. Web.

Khan, H., Baig, F., & Mehboob, R. (2017). Nosocomial infections: Epidemiology, prevention, control and surveillance. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 7(5), 478-482.

World Health Organization. (2002). Prevention of hospital-acquired infections: A practical guide.

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