Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) are infections that patients can get while receiving medical treatment for something else in a healthcare facility. These infections can have devastating emotional, financial, and medical consequences. The National Patient Safety Foundation reminds us of the importance of safe patient care. This year’s United for Patient Safety Campaign focuses on making patient safety an everyday priority.

Following are the six ways to be a safe patient:

  • Speak up: Talk to your doctor about all your questions and concerns. Ask doctors, nurses, and aides what they are doing to protect you.
  • Keep hands clean: Be sure everyone washes their hands before touching you.
  • Get smart about antibiotics: Ask if tests will be done to make sure the right antibiotic is prescribed.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of infection: Some skin infections, such as MRSA, appear as redness, pain or drainage at an IV catheter site or surgery site. Often the infection causes a fever. Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Watch out for deadly diarrhea (AKA C. difficile): Tell your doctor if you have three or more diarrhea episodes in 24 hours, especially if you have been taking an antibiotic.
  • Protect yourself: Keep up vaccinations (flu, pneumonia, etc.) and stay in good health to protect yourself from other illnesses.

Our Healthcare-Associated Infection Program and our Division of Public Health Licensing work closely with the multidisciplinary HAI Advisory Committee and subcommittees to identify and address priority areas for Arizona. We have strong partnerships with organizations and healthcare facilities across the state to reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections. You can visit to learn more about how we are working to reduce healthcare-associated infections.