Case Analysis-Reducing Hospital Acquired Infections

Case Analysis-Reducing Hospital Acquired Infections
As the name suggests, nosocomial infections are acquired by patients
within two days of admission to a healthcare facility or three days
after patients have been discharged from the hospital. Studies have
indicated alarming rates of nosocomial infections thus calling for an
immediate need for intervention to reduce and possibly eliminate the
entire hospital acquired infections to patients. Evidently, up to ten
percent of patients admitted, in hospitals develop nosocomial infections
and this number exceed 1,000 000 patients every year.
Symptoms are vital to doctors and other medical personnel as they
indicate incidences of infection, in patients. Imperatively, the
symptoms for the hospital acquired infections might differ from the
initial symptoms for the ailment that made the patients seek medical
attention. Further, some cases might show intensified symptoms of the
initial disease as the health conditions of the patient continue to
deteriorate. Therefore, nosocomial infections can take the shape of
freshly acquired infections, which might not be related in any way with
the initial ailment or intensification of the previous symptoms (Reed,
2009). It is imperative to note that nosocomial infection is majorly
caused by bacteria and symptoms, which appear in patients, depend on the
bacteria that have been spread between patients, hospital surface or
equipment to the patient.
The most common symptom of infection is always fever. However, there are
other symptoms and signs that indicate serious cases of infection by
bacteria or other pathogens as low blood pressure, rapid breathing, and
low output of urine, mental confusion and elevated count of white blood
cells (Great Britain & Great Britain, 2009). UTI patients might
experience serious pain while discharging urine and maybe produce blood
tainted urine. Other diseases as pneumonia might exhibit symptoms and
signs as coughing and breathing difficulties, which makes patients seem
to apply excess force during coughing (Reed, 2009). Post surgical
infections might begin with tenderness and swelling around surgical
wound. The same symptoms can be evidenced in other open wounds that a
patient might be having, in his body. Localized infections spread
rapidly to large areas, which result deep inflammation and destruction
of the layers of the skin and other muscles and tissues (Joint
Commission Resources, Inc, 2004).
Healthcare facilities and the medical personnel have the duty to treat
patients and respond to their medical needs, without compromising the
safety of patients (Great Britain & Great Britain, 2009). When patients
get infected while in the hospital instead of being treated then there
is a serious problem. Therefore, the healthcare management and
administration should seek to devise effective ways if preventing and
eliminating the entire hospital acquired infections. It is imperative to
note that, patients go to hospitals for medical attention, and they do
this with the trust that the hospital environment is safe for them.
However, when the rates of nosocomial infections continue to increase,
the effectiveness, efficiency and the primary objective of healthcare
facilities, as well as the medical personnel will be questioned and
doubted by patients (Joint Commission Resources, Inc, 2004). Therefore,
patients will lose confidence in the health the available health
infrastructure. Notably, most of the nosocomial infections are
preventable, and the healthcare facilities should up their games to
ensure that the infections are prevented using the entire available
resources and mechanisms (Reed, 2009). The other problem is that
hospital acquired infections increases the treatment burden thus adding
pressure to a healthcare system that is already overburdened. Therefore,
the healthcare administration is faced with a chief problem of
preventing the spread of hospital acquired infections.
Problem Analysis
In the event that patients lose confidence with the healthcare system,
most of them will refrain from going to hospitals thus aggravate the
morbidity rate. Further, patients will fail to seek medical intervention
early enough to facilitate effective treatment of ailments (Joint
Commission Resources, Inc, 2004). This problem will cripple the
objective of the health sector and make the provision of health services
nightmare to the healthcare personnel. Further, patients might lose
their health insurance cover due to increasing healthcare costs, or
empty their savings on treatment that was not anticipated.
Healthcare administration should embark on covering the medical expenses
that emerge from nosocomial infection. Further, the healthcare
administration should discharge patients soon after treatment to avoid
the cases of infections, which are acquired from hospitals.
Evaluation of Alternatives
Covering medical expenses that emerge from hospital acquired infections
should be the responsibility of the healthcare administration as the
infections are caused by the failures on the side of the hospital and
its staff. Therefore, the hospital should bear the burden of treatment,
instead of the patient (Great Britain & Great Britain, 2009). However,
this might not be possible as most hospitals struggle to service with
the available resources, which are always scarce. Therefore, covering
for the medical expenses for patients with nosocomial infections might
be a good idea but not workable.
The second alternative might be effective in minimizing the rate of
nosocomial infection. However, the option might not work as patients,
especially patients with surgical wounds require close inspection and
care from nurses and doctors (Daniels, 2004). Further, some patients
might have other complications, which hinder patient discharge.
Therefore, the option might not work, as well.
Recommended Course of Action
It is apparent that most of hospital acquired infections result from
contact with hospital surfaces or equipments, which are already infected
with bacteria, among other pathogens. Therefore, the recommended course
of action is to ensure high class hygiene in the hospital environment,
as well as the hygiene of patients (Reed, 2009). Further, patients with
infectious diseases should be isolated, from the regular wards to ensure
that nosocomial infections are minimized. The baseline of this course of
action is that prevention is the best intervention in dealing with
infections (Great Britain & Great Britain, 2009). Further, the hospital
personnel should be encouraged to wash their hands clean before and
after handling each patient. Hospitals and healthcare facilities should
adopt beds and bedding that are easy to clean after being soiled as
beds are principal avenues for nosocomial infections.
Implementation Plan
The implementation plan that should be adopted is organizing for daily
sterilization and disinfecting the entire hospital environment (Daniels,
2004). This plan will be initiated, by a full blown course and
sensitization of hospital and healthcare staff on the seriousness on
hospital acquired infections and the need to control and regulate the
same. This plan should be backed with strong surveillance and monitoring
strategies, which will enable the administration, trace the pattern of
nosocomial infections and the possible weaknesses in the provision of
health services, which leads to nosocomial infection. Finally, the plan
will be monitored and evaluated, on a monthly basis to facilitate the
required adjustments.
Daniels, R. (2004). Nursing fundamentals: Caring & clinical decision
making. Australia: Delmar Learning.
Great Britain., & Great Britain. (2009). Reducing healthcare associated
infections in hospitals in England: Report. London: TSO.
Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (2004). Improving care in the ICU.
Oakbrook Terrace, Ill: Joint Commission Resources
Reed, D. (2009). Infection Control and Prevention: A Review of
Hospital-Acquired Infections and the Economic Implications. The Ochsner
Journal. Retrieved from HYPERLINK