Patients who enter a health care facility, especially hospitals and long-term care facilities, are at risk of contracting an infection due to conditions they are exposed to. Unfortunately, these infections are likely to be very serious. Some are resistant to the antibiotics that are available. This makes them more difficult to treat and can mean that the patient suffers even more. Infection is a leading cause of preventable death in hospitals.
All health care facilities should have an infection control risk assessment. This helps them to implement a plan that works toward minimizing the risk of patients suffering from infections that can lead to great harm.
What are some common issues that increase infection risk?
There are many issues that might lead to a higher prevalence of infections in a facility. One of the primary factors is employee training. All employees of the facility must be taught about infection control. This includes instructing them on the importance of handwashing and showing them the proper procedures for doing this. When doctors, nurses and others who come into contact with patients wash their hands, the spread of germs is greatly reduced.
What are some of the primary forms of infection to control?
All contagious conditions should be handled with extreme caution. Some are more serious than others. Diarrheal diseases like C. difficile, respiratory conditions like influenza, pneumonia that occurs after a procedure, and organisms like MRSA must all be addressed swiftly and proper precautions to prevent their spread must be instituted right away. In some cases, precautionary measures must be started before a firm confirmation is made about the condition.
What happens if a patient contracts an infection?
Treatments for these infections should start as soon as it is determined that a patient has contracted one. The sooner there is something done, the better the outcome might be. One huge issue is that medical staff may miss the signs that something is amiss. This could mean that treatment is delayed and the condition is left to worsen.
When there is a lack of safety protocol established or being followed, patients who suffer harm might choose to seek compensation. This compensation can help to cover medical care costs and other expenses. It also sends a firm message to the facility and staff members that negligent behavior isn't going to be tolerated.