Population Description and Health Paper

Population Description and Health Paper

All patients admitted to the hospital to receive further treatment are at risk of Nosocomial infections/ hospital-acquired infections. This risk is even worsened by the fact that patients suffer from illnesses caused by totally different pathogens which can be transmitted from one person to another in different ways. However, most patients are often not aware of this risk. Instead, they are hospitalized with the hope and aim of having an improved health status after getting the necessary medical attention and reuniting with their loved ones. Besides, sick patients who are admitted in the hospital have a weak immune status and this increases their risk of suffering from nosocomial infections.

Pathogens such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus Aureus multi-drug resistant gram negative bacteria, clostridium difficile among others commonly colonize the hands of healthcare givers. Besides, the normal skin sheds a lot of epithelial cells which contain viable microorganisms. These organisms can easily contaminate equipment within the immediate environment of a patient (Ellingson et al., 2014). Such high rates of hand contamination have reportedly been noted in departments of critical care, the emergency department, surgical unit, and intensive care unit. More often, hands get contaminated possibly by touching the intact skin of a patient, non-living objects within the patient’s environment or when performing clean procedures such as blood pressure recording. Population Description and Health Paper


            Hospital-acquired infections can be defined as infections which develop while in a healthcare setting within 48 hours or more following hospitalization or 30 days later after having received care (Kingston, O’Connell & Dunne, 2016). These infections have continuously drawn the attention of the federal government, insurers, caregivers, patients, regulatory and professional bodies. This concern is not associated with the high morbidity and mortality rates but rather by the fact that it is a clinical issue that can easily be prevented.

Impact on Population Health Management

According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.7 million patients are admitted annually and acquire nosocomial infections when being treated for other illnesses. Of this population, approximately 10,000 die due to hospital-acquired infections. Therefore, preventing these infections is principal to providing high quality and safe care even in settings which have limited resources (Ellingson et al., 2014).

Nursing science explains several reasons as to why hospital-acquired infections are even more alarming in this century. First, hospitals are admitting huge numbers of sick patients, second, most medical procedures and surgical procedures tend to go beyond the natural protective barriers of the body, last but not least, nurses and physicians move from one patient to another, providing a channel for spreading pathogens. Lastly, most healthcare organizations have sanitation protocols which are related to sterilization of medical equipment and uniforms which are not well implemented, thus not followed (Kingston, O’Connell & Dunne, 2016).  This, therefore, means that, if hospital-acquired infections are to be prevented, a lot of emphasis should be placed on ensuring that sanitation protocols are adhered to.

Limited essential resources within healthcare facilities such as water are also a risk factor for hospital-acquired infections. Thus, in addressing this issue, it should be ensured that healthcare facilities have adequate resources.



Solution Overview

            Continuous developments being witnessed in the health sector are an effort to understand the pathophysiology of infectious diseases and the spread of infections which are multi-drug resistant in healthcare settings. The same research has revealed that the hands of nursing and other healthcare staff are the key promoters and drivers of hospital-acquired infections in patients who are critically ill (Sickbert-Bennett, et al., 2016). This is one of the most important revelations and integral factor that has promoted the need to research on how basic practices can be used to prevent infections in modern-day hospitals.

Hand washing/hand hygiene has been identified as a major cornerstone and the starting point of initiatives in infection control in most healthcare organizations. According to the World Health Organization, hand washing is a scientifically proven intervention strategy of driving down the transmission costs of disease-causing pathogens in healthcare settings (Ellingson et al., 2014). It has also proven that hand washing helps to reduce the incidence and prevalence of nosocomial infections. However, research also reveals that, when hand washing is routinely combined with other infection prevention strategies, it results to an even more desired resultant effect. Population Description and Health Paper

Clinical Question/PICOT Statement

Among adult hospitalized patients(P), how does hand washing(I) compared to the use of alcohol-based sanitizers(C), help to reduce the incidence of Hospital Acquired Infections(O), before and after patient care(T)?

Health Equity

All hospitals are required to follow the revised policies and guidelines that were published by the CDC the year 2002 on the practice of hand washing in hospital settings. These policies primarily recommend that, in order to decontaminate hands between every non-soiled patient in contact, alcohol sanitizers and hand rubs should be used. However, for hands that were visibly soiled or contaminated, liquid water and soap should be used (Mehta et al., 2014).


Ellingson, K., Haas, J. P., Aiello, A. E., Kusek, L., Maragakis, L. L., Olmsted, R. N., … & VanAmringe, M. (2014). Strategies to prevent healthcare-associated infections through hand hygiene. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology35(8), 937-960.

Kingston, L., O’Connell, N. H., & Dunne, C. P. (2016). Hand hygiene-related clinical trials reported since 2010: a systematic review. Journal of Hospital Infection92(4), 309-320.

Mehta, Y., Gupta, A., Todi, S., Myatra, S. N., Samaddar, D. P., Patil, V., … & Ramasubban, S. (2014). Guidelines for prevention of hospital acquired infections. Indian journal of critical care medicine: peer-reviewed, official publication of Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine18(3), 149.

Sickbert-Bennett, E. E., DiBiase, L. M., Willis, T. M. S., Wolak, E. S., Weber, D. J., & Rutala, W. A. (2016). Reduction of healthcare-associated infections by exceeding high compliance with hand hygiene practices. Emerging infectious diseases22(9), 1628.

Population Description and Health Paper

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