Reducing health care-associated infections: Patients want to be engaged and learn about infection prevention


      Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are common in health care-associated infection (HAI). The aim of this study was to examine patient's willingness to learn about MDROs and HAIs and their preferred ways of education about MDRO HAIs.


      Interviewer-administered questionnaire at a tertiary care academic medical center. We recruited a sample of 100 adult patients who had HAI and were placed in contact precautions.


      Ninety-six percent of patients had heard of MDROs. Ninety-eight percent of patients thought that their involvement in learning about MDROs was very important or important. Most of the patients thought that receiving information about MDROs would probably or definitely help them to make choices that would improve their health care. Patients expressed interest in more than 1 form of educational material: 70% chose written material, 57% verbal information, 53% an informational video, and 50% Internet-based material. Patients with a higher level of education were more likely to prefer written material. Patients emphasized simple language and incorporation of actual patient stories.


      Hospitalized patients with MDROs in our study believed that involvement on their part was important. Individuals' level of education affected their preference regarding choice of educational material, but most patients prefered receiving written or verbal information. Patient preferences must be incorporated into education to increase engagement for prevention of MDROs and HAIs.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to American Journal of Infection Control
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Hidron A.I.
        • Edwards J.R.
        • Patel J.
        • Horan T.C.
        • Sievert D.M.
        • Pollock D.A.
        • et al.
        NHSN annual update: antimicrobial-resistant pathogens associated with healthcare-associated infections: annual summary of data reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006-2007.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2008; 29: 996-1011
        • Siegel J.D.
        • Rhinehart E.
        • Jackson M.
        • Chiarello L.
        Health Care Infection Control Practices Advisory C. 2007 Guideline for isolation precautions: preventing transmission of infectious agents in health care settings.
        Am J Infect Control. 2007; 35: S65-S164
        • Umscheid C.A.
        • Mitchell M.D.
        • Doshi J.A.
        • Agarwal R.
        • Williams K.
        • Brennan P.J.
        Estimating the proportion of healthcare-associated infections that are reasonably preventable and the related mortality and costs.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011; 32: 101-114
        • Emerson C.B.
        • Eyzaguirre L.M.
        • Albrecht J.S.
        • Comer A.C.
        • Harris A.D.
        • Furuno J.P.
        Healthcare-associated infection and hospital readmission.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2012; 33: 539-544
        • Klevens R.M.
        • Edwards J.R.
        • Gaynes R.P.
        National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System. The impact of antimicrobial-resistant, health care-associated infections on mortality in the United States.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2008; 47: 927-930
        • Moller T.
        • Borregaard N.
        • Tvede M.
        • Adamsen L.
        Patient education: a strategy for prevention of infections caused by permanent central venous catheters in patients with haematological malignancies: a randomized clinical trial.
        J Hosp Infect. 2005; 61: 330-341
        • Ottum A.
        • Sethi A.K.
        • Jacobs E.
        • Zerbel S.
        • Gaines M.E.
        • Safdar N.
        Engaging patients in the prevention of health care-associated infections: a survey of patients' awareness, knowledge, and perceptions regarding the risks and consequences of infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile.
        Am J Infect Control. 2012; 40: 322-326
        • McCarthy D.M.
        • Engel K.G.
        • Buckley B.A.
        • Forth V.E.
        • Schmidt M.J.
        • Adams J.G.
        • et al.
        Emergency department discharge instructions: lessons learned through developing new patient education materials.
        Emerg Med Int. 2012; 2012 (306859)
        • Pittet D.
        • Panesar S.S.
        • Wilson K.
        • Longtin Y.
        • Morris T.
        • Allan V.
        • et al.
        Involving the patient to ask about hospital hand hygiene: a National Patient Safety Agency feasibility study.
        J Hosp Infect. 2011; 77: 299-303
        • Rohde R.E.
        • Ross-Gordon J.
        MRSA model of learning and adaptation: a qualitative study among the general public.
        BMC Health Serv Res. 2012; 12: 88
        • Newton J.T.
        • Constable D.
        • Senior V.
        Patients' perceptions of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and source isolation: a qualitative analysis of source-isolated patients.
        J Hosp Infect. 2001; 48: 275-280
        • Flanagan M.E.
        • Welsh C.A.
        • Kiess C.
        • Hoke S.
        • Doebbeling B.N.
        • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Hospital-Acquired Infections Collaborative
        A national collaborative for reducing health care-associated infections: current initiatives, challenges, and opportunities.
        Am J Infect Control. 2011; 39: 685-689
        • Ottum A.
        • Sethi A.K.
        • Jacobs E.A.
        • Zerbel S.
        • Gaines M.E.
        • Safdar N.
        Do patients feel comfortable asking healthcare workers to wash their hands?.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2012; 33: 1282-1284