Consumer Guide to Health Care - Your Role in Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections

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 Revised: April 29, 2015