Health care Associated Infections and their Effect on The Quality of Care in US Hospitals

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One factor prevalent in our nation’s hospitals which, although under-represented by the media, is significantly detrimental to the advancement of the United States healthcare system is Hospital/Healthcare Associated Infections, or HAIs. These infections were first identified as a serious threat to patient safety during the 1930s. In the 1940s, The British Medical Council appointed infection officers in various hospitals to attempt to regulate and control causes of infection, although such officers only became common in the 1950s during a severe outbreak of Staphyloccosus. After a brief investigation had been conducted, it was found that nearly 100% of patients and staff in various British hospitals had contracted elements of the virus through lack of hygienic precaution during open wound surgeries. Fortunately, the ready availability of penicillin prevented a severe outbreak, but the continued overuse of the drug resulted in drug resistant bacteria and virus and the discovery of the Staphyloccosus Aureus - a virulent skin pathogen immune to initial penicillin serums and recognized as the first antibiotic resistant bacterium - in the late 1960s. By the early 1970s, the drive to control hospital infections was well established in the United States, however, the movement was unorganized and there was no success in eliminating infections associated with medical practices at the time. It was not until 1976 that the control of infectious diseases in hospitals was transformed from a movement to a mandate when The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals demanded that accredited hospitals have infection control programs. Currently the majority of research of HAIs is conducted by the CDC through The Prevention Epicenter Program, w... ... middle of paper ... ...ent Reform. "Healthcare-associated Infections: A Preventable Epidemic : Hearing before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Second Session, April 16, 2008, Volume 4." - HEALTHCARE-ASSOCIATED INFECTIONS: A PREVENTABLE EPIDEMIC. U.S. G.P.O., 2009, 14 May 2010. Web. Accessed: 18 Oct. 2013. Voss, Andreas. Epidemiology of Systemic Candida Infections: Studies to Pursue the Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology. S.l.: Ponsen & Looijen., 1997. Print. Weston, Debbie. Infection Prevention and Control: Theory and Clinical Practice for Healthcare Professionals. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print. Yong, Pierre L., Robert Samuel Saunders, and LeighAnne Olsen. The Healthcare Imperative: Lowering Costs and Improving Outcomes : Workshop Series Summary. Washington, D.C.: National Academies, 2010. Print.

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