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Healthcare-Associated Infections

What are healthcare-associated infections?

A healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is an infection that a person can acquire while receiving treatment in a healthcare facility for another condition. There are various types of HAIs, which are often named after the site of the body in which they occur.

Transmission of HAIs via Water Systems

Water can harbor germs that threaten the safety of patients and spread antibiotic resistant pathogens or healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Water management programs in healthcare facilities are an important way to help protect vulnerable patient populations as well as staff and visitors.

CDC's graphic depicting the reach of healthcare water systems

Source: CDC

Transmission of HAIs via the Healthcare Environment

Effective cleaning and disinfection of the healthcare environment and hands of healthcare workers are instrumental in the prevention of healthcare associated infections.

CDC graphic demonstrating the transmission of HAIs via the environment.

CDC's Core Components of Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection

  1. Integrate environmental services into the hospital’s safety culture.
  2. Educate and train all HCP responsible for cleaning and disinfecting patient care areas.
  3. Select appropriate cleaning and disinfection technologies and products.
  4. Standardize setting-specific cleaning and disinfection protocols.
  5. Monitor effectiveness and adherence to cleaning and disinfection protocols.
  6. Provide feedback on adequacy and effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection to staff and stakeholders.

CDC graphic

Source: CDC

Additional Resources

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)

APIC’s Materials for Healthcare Facilities

Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC)

IKORCC Infection Prevention

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)

SHEA Online Learning Center

SHEA/CDC Outbreak Response Training Program (ORTP)

SHEA Pocket Guidelines