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Six Important Things to Know About Preventing Hospital Infections

o don't look professional. 3. Comparison Shop: Compare the hospital's infection rate with the national rates published by the Centers for Disease Control. Low rates are good, and a rate below the CDC 10 percentile rate is considered very low. Ask how many trained and certified infection-control practitioners are employed. The appropriate number of infection-control personnel per occupied hospital beds is about one per 100, especially for acute care medical centers, based on a recent study. 4. Ask the nursing staff questions: Consider that you're an advocate and a member of the health-care team for yourself and your loved one. Inquire if hospital beds, especially intensive-care beds, are elevated at 30 degrees for patients requiring a ventilator, to help prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia. 5. After any procedure, be persistent about cleanliness: If a catheter is in place, inquire if it's still needed since bacteria can enter the device and quickly spread through the body. Ask if incisions are dressed appropriately and if any sign of infection has appeared. 6. Ask the unobvious questions: The Centers for Disease Control advocates isolation to prevent transmission of germs in high-risk patients. If placed in isolation, ask questions about how aggressive the hospital is with infection-control strategies in isolation rooms and floors. Does the hospital screen high-risk patients? What kinds of patients are considered high risk? Does it carry out cultures on them to see if they carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria and should be isolated? Does the physician or staff check whether a patient is up to date with vaccines? Are hospital employees who are sick told to stay at home or go home if they're at work? Ask ab
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