According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day roughly 1 in every 20 hospitalized patients will develop a healthcare-associated infection as a result of receiving medical care. And, that statistic does not include infections acquired at doctor’s offices and long-term care facilities. There are several types of healthcare-acquired infections including: bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, gastrointestinal infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, injection site infections, etc.
To help prevent these dangerous threats to patient safety, the Centers for Disease Control Prevention has developed checklists for all types of medical facilities including dialysis clinics, long-term care facilities, dental offices, etc. Of course, in an emergency situation, you do not have the luxury of researching the best medical facility. But, if you are scheduling a medical procedure or surgery, take the time to do some research at such sites at www.healthgrades.com. In addition to searching health grades, we recommend patients research all aspects of their medical providers. In Tennessee, health.state.tn.us allows consumers and patients to check licensing information, abuse registry etc. disciplinary actions, etc.
Finally, be an advocate for yourself or your family member. If a medical professional is not practicing good hygiene (i.e, using hand sanitizer upon entering the room, etc.) or the hospital room is dirty, etc., speak up and demand action.