Most people enter the hospital hoping to feel better after they leave, but for 1.7 million Americans every year, this simply isn’t the case. Hospital Acquired Infections, also called HAIs or nosocomial infections, are infections that a hospital patient can develop as a result of their hospital stay (Martin & McFerran, 2008). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that roughly 99,000 deaths each year are related to HAIs (Klevens et al., 2007).
It is well established in infection prevention practice that surfaces in hospital rooms are continually contaminated by infectious pathogens. The sources of these dangerous pathogens range from people who enter the room with contaminated hands and compromised clothing, from contaminated instruments and items that are brought in and out of the room like personal and enterprise issued mobile devices, and from the patient themselves.
According to CDC reports, over 700,000 hospital patients acquired an infection as a result of their hospital stay in 2011, resulting in roughly 75,000 deaths. The majority of these Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) occurred in intensive care units.
Smartphone and tablet use by healthcare practitioners continues to steadily increase as technology becomes more pervasive. Of Physicians, Psychiatrists, Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants surveyed in a recent Epocrates study, 84% reported using at least one kind of mobile technology in their practice, while almost 50% of all healthcare providers are utilizing tablets, smart phones,andcomputers as part of their job (Information Week, 2013).
Frontline recently released a documentary called “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria.” It details the accounts of three separate stories, happening in completely different parts of the world at the same time.