March 2022

Hospitals and clinics should be a place where infections are cured, not acquired.

Unfortunately, if healthcare settings are not carefully and routinely disinfected, they can become reservoirs of pathogens and spread infections to previously uninfected patients.

Such infections are called Healthcare-Associated Infections, or HAIs.

Infections from healthcare environments are concerning for many reasons.  They tend to increase the length of a patient’s hospital stay, pose a serious threat when caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria, and expose immunocompromised patients to further illness. HAIs are also very costly. Over 1 million HAIs occur in the U.S. each year, increasing patient mortality rates and costing healthcare systems billions of dollars.

Common HAIs include:

This risk of contracting HAIs is reduced when hospitals and other healthcare settings take frequent, effective action to clean and disinfect hands, air, and environmental surfaces. Surveillance programs that monitor HAIs also help by raising awareness among staff and showing trends in HAIs.