Assignment: Population Health: Healthcare-Associated Infections

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Assignment: Population Health: Healthcare-Associated Infections

Assignment: Population Health: Healthcare-Associated Infections

Healthcare-Associated Infections

Healthcare-Associated infections (HAI) are infections acquired by patients in the course of receiving medical or surgical care. In modern healthcare, there are many procedures and invasive techniques that are meant to improve the health of patients. However, some of these healthcare procedures may put the patients at the risk of infection. HAIs are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in healthcare institutions in the United States (Sievert et al., 2013). Additionally, these infections have led to an increased cost of healthcare. HAIs occur in various healthcare settings such as surgical centers, acute care centers, long-term care facilities, and even outpatient centers. There is need to improve the quality of care to reduce and possibly completely eradicate HAIs to enhance the quality of healthcare. The purpose of this paper is to discuss HAIs as a population health problem and develop a research topic on this health issue.

About Healthcare-Associated Infections

Person

All people who visit healthcare facilities for medical or surgical treatment can acquire HAIs. However, there are some groups of people that are at a greater risk than others. The elderly population is at the highest risk of acquiring HAIs because of their increasing immune deficiencies (Sievert et al., 2013). The elderly people’s deteriorating immune system makes them more susceptible to infections by pathogens that are commonly found in the healthcare environment.

Place

HAIs have been reported in every state in the United States. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has two HAI surveillance programs that track the rate of infections in all U.S. states and records the trends. According to CDC reports from 2015, at least 1 in every 25 patients acquire infections in the healthcare setting (Umscheid et al., 2011). These infections are most prevalent in specific areas of healthcare such as surgical sites and intensive care units.

Time

The occurrence of HAIs is not seasonal. Patients are at the risk of acquiring infections at any time of the year provided they are exposed to an environment containing the pathogens that could cause the infections to occur. However, patients are at a greater risk at a time when they are undergoing surgical procedures or during antibiotic use.

The significance of this Health Problem

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