Constrained resources, increasingly complex medical technology, and shorter hospital stays require patients and their families to become more involved both in their day-to-day care and in decisions regarding their care. Working in partnership with your healthcare providers has never been more important. Your provider should always be your primary resource for health education.


This section of the website is dedicated to providing helpful education to limit or prevent hospital-acquired conditions. Information on this website should not be construed as personal medical advice but should provide information so you can discuss concerns with your healthcare provider in a more informed manner.


What is a hospital-acquired condition?


Hospital-acquired conditions are conditions that do not originate from a patient's original admitting diagnosis. For example, an infection that becomes clinically evident after 48 hours of hospitalization is considered healthcare/hospital-acquired.

How can I help protect myself against hospital-acquired conditions?


The single most important way you can help to prevent a hospital-acquired condition is to be an active member of your healthcare team. Speak up if you have any questions or concerns about treatments, procedures or anticipated outcomes.


Research shows that patients who are more involved with their care tend to get better results.


  • As a patient in the hospital:
    Ask all healthcare workers who have direct contact with you whether they have washed their hands. Handwashing is an important way to prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infections.

  • If you are having surgery or a special procedure
    If you require surgery or a special procedure, make sure you are clear about the procedure, anticipated outcome, and any possible complication, side effects, etc.. Make sure that you, your doctor and your surgeon or specialist all agree on the procedure determined and are clear on exactly what will be done. Doing surgery at the wrong site (for example, operating on the right hip instead of the left) is rare. Wrong-site surgery is 100 percent preventable and can be prevented by surgeons signing their initials directly on the site to be operated before the surgery. See the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Twelve Steps to a Safer Hospital Stay

  • Take responsibility for your healthcare
    Speak up! You have the right to question anyone who is involved with your care. Make sure that someone, such as your personal doctor or hospitalist, is in charge of your care. This is especially important if you have many health conditions and many consultants. Have an advocate, ask a family member or friend to be there with you (someone who can help get things done and speak up for you if you can't). See the US Department of Health & Human Services Patient's Bill of Rights in Medicare and Medicaid and see what the American Hospital Association recommends to Hospitals with regard to communicating with patients.



Educate yourself on the following hospital-acquired conditions.


Learn about:

Related Links:


The Safe Care Campaign

The Safe Care Campaign's goal is to instigate a crucial, culture change within the American healthcare environment in regard to comprehensive infection prevention and hand hygiene.


Nursing 2008 Peer-to-Peer Website


Nursing2008 has been peer-reviewed and evidence-based since our first issue in 1971. Our goal is to improve nursing practice by providing evidence-based practical information with a reader-friendly approach.


Skin is the Source


The skin is the source website is dedicated to reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) by educating patients that skin is often the source of HAIs.


Institute of Healthcare Improvement


Click here for the Institute of Healthcare Improvement document

"What You Need to Know about Central Line Infections (CLI): A Fact Sheet for Patients and their Family Members"



Other Resources: