Should Providers Be Obligated to Involve Patients in HAI Prevention?

While the majority of healthcare-associated infection prevention is carried out by healthcare workers, it may be unethical to not present patients with enough information so they may participate in HAI-prevention efforts, should they choose to do so, according to an article published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

The article argues considering patient autonomy and empowering patients in HAI-prevention may lead to reductions in HAIs and improved outcomes.

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Researchers suggest keeping patients informed with publically available data, providing hospital-specific information upon admission and face-to-face conversations between patients and healthcare professionals could be effective strategies for empowering patients.

"Hospitalized patients are often vulnerable, and vast asymmetries and medical knowledge exist between providers and patients. These conditions can jeopardize adequate consideration of patients' values and interests. Actively empowering patients, ensuring them an opportunity to act in light of their values and interests, supports patient autonomy," said the authors of the wisdom of collaborating with patients on HAI prevention.

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