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Literature Review Essay


Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are the infections hospitalized patients get while receiving treatment at a healthcare facility. The infections are usually not present or incubating during hospital admission. HAIs are acquired after hospitalization, and they manifest 48 hours after admission. They are attributable to weak infection control practices in healthcare facilities. Clinical care should be mindful of recent invasive procedures, underlying comorbidities, length of hospital stay, and immunosuppression. Direct contact with clinical personnel can also lead to HAIs. Although many HAIs are preventable through evidence-based nursing practices like prevention and surveillance programs, their prevalence has risen worldwide. For example, nurses should promote hygiene and patient safety to curb soft tissue and skin infections while caring for open sores and wounds.

Hospitals worsen patient outcomes without adherence to hand hygiene, antimicrobial guidelines, patient safety stewardship, screening, and public health surveillance. Such a phenomenon can also lead to a heavy workload as infections spread between patients and healthcare workers. Hand hygiene reduces the chances of transmitting pathogens, while antimicrobial guidelines such as disinfectant use help kill the pathogens and complement other control measures. Enhancing patient safety through wearing personal protective equipment prevents staff from contracting infections even when exposed to the pathogens. This reduces the chances of cross-contamination. Surveillance systems help monitor compliance to measures and detect outbreaks early. Therefore, implementing the approaches such as patient safety and hygiene stewardship leads to better patient outcomes among hospitalized patients, such as quicker recovery and reduced length of hospital stay.

Comparison of Research Questions

A study by Yacob Habboush et al. (2022) focused on the factors for developing a hospital-acquired infection. It also identified the most prevalent morbidity and mortality related to a hospital-acquired infection. The study summarized key education points health professionals should impart to their staff concerning preventing hospital-acquired infections. Another study by Cilloniz Catia et al. (2019) investigated the outcomes of the global threat and ways of management caused by the multi-drug resistant gram-negative pathogens. Monegro et al. (2022) explored the pathophysiology of hospital-acquired infections. The study also sought to evaluate the laboratory tests for access to hospital-acquired infections. Additionally, it summarized the management of the various types of hospital-acquired infections and delineated the importance of improving care coordination to prevent infection transmission. Sally Stewart et al. (2021) examined the epidemiology of healthcare-associated infections.

Drohan et al. (2019) investigated whether subsidies encourage regional spending on hospital infection control. A study by Gowler et al. (2022) evaluated the impact of assuming that asymptomatic individuals are likely to have longer hospital stays than other patients. Hsu et al. (2020) explored the association between incentives and disparities in HAIs. Shepard et al. (2020) assessed the impacts of HAIs reduction on healthcare profits.

Comparison of Sample Populations

Habboush et al. (2022) collected data from large healthcare facilities. Cilloniz Catia et al. (2019) collected data on the number of infections per facility and tested pathogens causing infection and its transmission. Research by Monegro et al. (2022) analyzed literature according to the author’s inclusion criteria. The study by Stewart et al. (2021) collected data from a sample that met the international definition of health-acquired infections. Drohan et al. (2019) collected data from multiple community hospitals. Research by Gowler et al. (2022) analyzed patients in a clinical setting, while Hsu et al. (2020) collected data from four acute hospitals. Shepard et al. (2020) used patients in Stanford Healthcare Center, which has an acute care capacity of 63 beds.

Comparison of the Limitations of the Study

The study by Drohan et al. (2019) did not have data regarding the making of hospital budget decisions. Research by Gowler et al. (2022) had biases in results when estimating the impact of an intervention in reducing the infection rates of HAIs in a hospital. Hsu et al. (2020) had several limitations that included excluding non-targeted outcomes to avoid the risk of ascertainment bias associated with the lack of mandated reporting.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Infectious diseases cause significant morbidity and mortality. The infections increase the length of hospital stay, thus increasing healthcare costs. HAIs are common in older people and individuals with emergency cases, and the infections increase during summer and winter. They are common in older people and individuals with underlying conditions since they have weakened immune systems that easily give in to disease-causing organisms. Interventions to reduce HAIs include maintaining high hygiene standards and strict adherence to control measures. Proper hygiene and compliance to control measures reduce the risk of transmitting pathogens from one person to another. Additionally, financial incentives given to hospitals lower infection rates. The incentives are used to support the implemented interventions. Therefore, implementing interventions to reduce HAIs positively impacts healthcare organizations in the long run.

Recommendations for further research include investigating the impact of collaboration among professionals as a strategy to enhance prevention management and the effect of considering the local ecology and individual patient risk factors. Research on the interdisciplinary involvement of members and professionals in healthcare in infection management was also recommended. Additionally, the studies suggested investigating the role of appropriate technologies in evaluating the financial impacts of HAIs as an area of further research.


Cillóniz, C., Dominedo, C., & Torres, A. (2019). An overview of guidelines for the management of hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases32(6), 656-662.

Drohan, S. E., Levin, S. A., Grenfell, B. T., & Laxminarayan, R. (2019). Incentivizing hospital infection control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences116(13), 6221-6225.

Gowler, C. D., Slayton, R. B., Reddy, S. C., & O’Hagan, J. J. (2022). Improving mathematical modeling of interventions to prevent healthcare-associated infections by interrupting transmission or pathogens: How common modeling assumptions about colonized individuals impact intervention effectiveness estimates. Plos one17(2), e0264344.

Habboush, Y., Benham, M. D., Louie, T., Noor, A., & Sprague, R. M. (2022). New York State Infection Control. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

Hsu, H. E., Wang, R., Broadwell, C., Horan, K., Jin, R., Rhee, C., & Lee, G. M. (2020). Association between federal value-based incentive programs and health care–associated infection rates in safety-net and non–safety-net hospitals. JAMA Network Open3(7), e209700-e209700.

Monegro, A. F., Muppidi, V., & Regunath, H. (2022). Hospital acquired infections. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

Shepard, J., Frederick, J., Wong, F., Madison, S., Tompkins, L., & Hadhazy, E. (2020). Could the prevention of health care–associated infections increase hospital cost? The financial impact of health care–associated infections from a hospital management perspective. American Journal of Infection Control48(3), 255-260.

Stewart, S., Robertson, C., Pan, J., Kennedy, S., Dancer, S., Haahr, L., & Reilly, J. (2021). Epidemiology of healthcare-associated infection reported from a hospital-wide incidence study: considerations for infection prevention and control planning. Journal of Hospital Infection114, 10-22.


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