Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients can get while receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions. No matter where you are—in a hospital, a long-term care facility, outpatient surgery center, dialysis center, doctor’s office, or elsewhere—you are at risk for infections. These kinds of infections are often preventable.
The most common types of infections are:
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (when germs travel along a urinary catheter and cause an infection in your bladder or kidney)
Surgical site infections (an infection that happens after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place)
Bloodstream infections (when germs enter the blood by way of a catheter or tube that is placed in your vein)
Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 25 hospitalized patients will get a healthcare-associated infection as a result of the care they receive in the hospital.
Healthcare-associated infections cost U.S. hospitals an estimated $28.4 to $45 billion each year, according to the CDC.
Thirty-five percent of healthcare facilities across the globe do not adequately promote hand hygiene practices, according to the World Health Organization.