Healthcare-associated Infections are as harmful as they are prevalent, posing serious health risks to those who are exposed. Contemporary medicine provides an access to a wide variety of services and tools that are meant to help patients recover from illnesses and injuries. However, with the diverse range of medical devices, some are likely to significantly contribute to healthcare-associated infections, namely catheters and ventilators. Healthcare-associated infections are characterized by having their origin linked to the treatment a patient has received. Most common examples include bloodstream infections, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections.
Surgeons must be particularly careful of the surgical site infections, since they are likely to complicate a high-stake operation or worsen its side effects. The Health Service Executive (HSE) seeks to monitor and prevent these infections because they pose a considerable danger to patient safety. Some of the most common healthcare-associated infections include Central Line-associated Bloodstream Infection, Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infections, Surgical Site Infection, and Ventilator-associated Pneumonia. The prevention methods and treatments vary depending on which diagnosis, in particular is relevant to a patient.
The term urinary tract infection (also referred to as UTI) describes an infection that affects an organ within the urinary system, including bladder, urethra, ureters, or kidneys. Statistically, UTI’s are the most common kind of healthcare-associated disease reported to the HSE. The majority of such cases can be traced back to urinary cartherers, which are the tubes inserted into the bladder through the urethra to drain urine. During their stay in the hospital, 15-25 percent of patients need urinary catheters. The most important risk factor for acquiring a catheter-associated UTI is long-term use of the urinary catheter (CAUTI). Both patients’ physical safety and psychological security during treatment are negatively affected by the HAIs.
The HSE is in charge of monitoring of the prevention mechanisms in place, the investigation of the emerging cases, and the accompanying laboratory research. It uses the data acquired from these activities to detect and prevent diseases more efficiently, and and develop new antibiotics for treatment (van Rooden et al., 2021). Improvements in clinical practice, medical procedures, and the continued creation of evidence-based infection control recommendations and preventive successes have all resulted from public health action by the HSE and other relvenat bodies and institutions.
The HSE prioritized slowing down the spread of infection up until its maximum possible extermination within the Irish healthcare system. Nurses and doctors were trained in appropriate preventive measures, primarily related to hygiene maintenance (van Rooden et al., 2021). Handwashing is consistently being reinforced as mandatory within the medical system of Ireland and is also regarded as a primary way healthcare professionals can use to break the chain. Additionally, further roadmap was designed for healthcare-associated disease prevention, as the wide spread of the issue has the capacity to compromise public trust in the healthcare industry within the country (Meera et al., 2019). The core components of an infection prevention program are intended to keep infections from spreading in healthcare environments (van Rooden et al., 2021).
The risk of infection among patients and healthcare professionals is lowered when these aspects are present and continuously implemented (O’Mahony, 2021). The Infection Control Assessment mechanisms were created to aid health agencies in evaluating infection control strategies and directing quality improvement efforts (e.g., by addressing identified gaps). Additionally, hospitals might take advantage of these technologies to perform internal audits and other helahtcare quality assessments.
Targeted Assessment for Prevention Strategy is a framework designed for quality improvement in operations related to data management in the area of Healthcare Associated Infections. The TAP Strategy is made up of three parts: 1) using the existing reports to narrow down the list of institutions to those with the highest rates of healthcare associated infections 2) using TAP tools to discover gaps and oversights in the protection systems in the identified institutions. 3) using the HSE resources to fill the gaps and improve the existing protection barriers.
Learning to prevent the infections associated with healthcare will additionally ease the pressing concerns of antibiotic inflation. Antibiotic medicines are lifesaving in many circumstances, but their overuse causes people to develop a tolerance for the active components, resulting in wasted innovation and dangerous complications (Phelan, McCarthy, and Adams, 2018). It is critical to play a proactive role in reducing antibiotic use and interrupting the infection chain at every point of contact. Nurses and midwives are uniquely equipped to seize a chain of healthcare-associated infection by knowing its potential sources, transmission mechanisms and specific devices involved in each case.
When an infection is prevented, no instance of antibiotics course is required, resulting in a reduced risk of resistance development in a patient in the long term. As per the statement of Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, nurses and midwives are expected to “follow and promote approved practice in regard to infection control and prevention” (NMBI, 2016). This includes the accountability for one’s actions within the hospital, the proper attention to training and updated procedures that guarantee patients’ security
Hospital-acquired infections, in general, are unlikely to ever be solved at full, given the daily turnover of cases in highly populated areas, imperfect equipment, and the factor of human error. However, it is essential that the nurses do not turn a blind eye to the occurring incidents but provide the infected with the treatment procedures while also using the situation to avoid similar scenarios in the future. Proper training of the newer nurses and midwives might be called the best remedy against such illnesses, since it allows the future professionals to reinact different probable scenarios within a safe environment.
Meera, T., O’Connor, R., Burns, K., Murphy, H., Hennessy, S., Roche, F., Donlon, S., Cormican, M. & Vellinga, A., 2019. A comparative analysis of prophylactic antimicrobial use in long-term care facilities in Ireland, 2013 and 2016. Euro Surveill, 24(11). Web.
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, 2016, The Code – Professional Standards of Practice and Behaviour for Nurses and Midwives.
O’Mahony, C., Byrne, S., Aherne, J., Hanan, T., Mullen, L., Keane, M., Browne, H., Malee, K. and Murphy, K. D. 2021. A qualitative evaluation of community and acute hospital nursing oncology services in Ireland. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 51, 101912.
Phelan, A., McCarthy, S., and Adams, E. 2018. Examining the context of community nursing in Ireland and the impact of missed care. British Journal of Community Nursing, 23(1), 34-40.
van Rooden, S., Aspevall, O., Carrara, E., Gubbels, S., Johansson, A., Lucet, J., Mookerjee, S., Palacios-Baena, Z., Presterl, E., Tacconelli, E., Abbas, M., Behnke, M., Gastmeier, P. and van Mourik, M., 2021. Governance aspects of large-scale implementation of automated surveillance of healthcare-associated infections. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 27, pp.S20-S28.