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Consumer Guide to Health Care


Your Role in Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)

All external hyperlinks are provided for your information and for the benefit of the general public.  The Department of Health Services does not testify to, sponsor, or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on externally linked pages.


As a patient, you can play an important role in preventing infections in the hospital or other health care settings. Who is at risk of acquiring these infections? 

  • Surgical patients or any patient with open wounds.

  • Patients in intensive care units (ICUs) with central line catheters. (A central line catheter is a tube that is passed through a vein to end up in the heart or the large vein returning blood to the heart.)

  • Patients on ventilators (machines that help patients breathe).

  • All patients in hospitals and nursing homes. These places have the potential for transmission of Methicillin Resistant Staph aureus (MRSA) from poor hand hygiene.

  • Patients with urinary catheters (tubes placed in the urinary tract).

What can a patient do to help prevent healthcare associated infections? Here are a couple good overviews:

Other links:

To learn more, contact the Wisconsin Division of Public Health at 608-267-7711. To suggest additional HAI resources or topics for this page, email the Division of Public Health.

Last Modified: May 02, 2014