Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients get while receiving treatment for medical conditions or during surgeries.
These infections can be devastating not only to your health, but also emotionally and financially. In some cases, they can even be deadly.
Every day, patients get infections in hospitals while they are receiving care for something else. Time in the hospital puts you at risk for a hospital-associated infection.
HAIs are an important patient safety issue.
What can patients do?
- Even though you rely on hospitals to make sure you are safe, you can take an active role in avoiding infections.
- Know your hospitals’ infection rate before you are admitted, so you are aware of any problem areas.
- Don’t be afraid to remind staff to wash their hands.
- Speak up and ask questions if something doesn’t seem right.
Visit Own Your Health to help you make informed health care decisions.
What should your hospital do?
- Follow CDC guidelines for preventing hospital infections.
- Work with the Washington State Hospital Association to implement all of the association’s recommendations to reduce health care-associated infections.
- Make sure staff maintain good hand hygiene, including washing their hands regularly and using hand sanitizer.