Healthcare Acquired Infection Prevention (HAI) in Long-term Care

The term Nosocomial Infection has more recently been changed to Health Care Acquired Infection or HAI, but I find Health Care Workers continue to default to using Nosocomial. In any case, a HAI or Nosocomial Infection, is one that develops 48 to 72 hours after admission to a healthcare facility, according to McGeer’s Criteria (McGeer’s, 1991)

Multiple factors contribute to the transmission of infectious organisms in hospitals, long-term care facilities and rehabilitation centers; they include the type of infectious organism, the patient’s proximity to the source of infection, the means by which the organism could potentially be transmitted  and the status of the patient’s immune system.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the facility to develop policies and procedures designed to interrupt the transmission of infectious organisms from the source to the patient and to maintain a strong Infection Control Surveillance program. That is where you, the DSD, Infection Preventionist, or DON, and your Infection Control Committee, come in. Preventing HAI in Healthcare Facilities CDC


McGeer A, Campbell B, Emori TG, Hierholzer WJ, Jackson MM, Nicolle LE, Peppler C, Rivera A, Schollenberger DG, Simor AE, Smith PW, Wang E. Definitions of Infection for Surveillance in Long Term Care Facilities. American Journal of Infection Control 1991; 19(1):1-7.

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Photo Credit: Janice Haney Carr, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Photo Credit: Janice Carr, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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