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Healthcare-Associated Infection and Antibiotic Resistance
General Info & FAQs
Everyone has a role in preventing HAIs and antibiotic resistance.
- Healthcare facilities have infection control programs in place to monitor, prevent, and control infections.
- State and local public health departments educate patients and healthcare providers about infection prevention and control and work with healthcare facilities to identify best practices for prevention.
- The public can keep themselves informed and take action to reduce their risks of acquiring healthcare-associated or antibiotic resistant infections.
Follow the steps below to reduce your risk of acquiring a healthcare-associated or antibiotic resistant infection.
- Be a safe patient
Some simple actions can help you protect yourself from infection:
- Wash your hands! Ask your doctors, nurses, and visitors to wash their hands too.
- Ask your doctor or nurse if you still need a central line or catheter.
- Ask your doctor or nurse how you can prepare yourself for surgery.
- Learn more by reading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Ten Things You Can Do to Be a Safe Patient.
- Understand appropriate antibiotic use
- Antibiotics are useful to treat bacterial infections but are not effective for viruses like cold or flu.
- You should follow your healthcare provider's instructions when taking antibiotics - do not skip any doses or stop taking antibiotics early even if you are feeling better.
- Do not share your antibiotics or take someone else's antibiotics.
- For more information, read frequently asked questions about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.
- Get more information about specific types of infections.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of common infections will allow you to better prevent or recognize them. Recently, increased attention has been paid to specific infections that may be healthcare-associated. These infections are also present in the community.
- Clostridium difficile
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- Vancomycin-intermediate and Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VISA/VRSA)
The following types of device and procedure associated infections are commonly addressed in HAI prevention programs: