Infection Prevention and Control

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can lead to significant illnesses and even death among nursing facility residents. HAIs are responsible for nearly half of all transfers from nursing facilities to hospitals, leading to between 150,000 to 200,000 hospital admissions each year. When a person living in a nursing facility (NF) is hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of infection, the mortality rate can be as high as 40%, with pneumonia being the leading cause of death.

Older adults may have diminished immune responses, increasing their risk for developing infections. Other risk factors include:

  • Living in a congregate setting, such as a NF or assisted living facility;
  • Reduced responsiveness to vaccinations;
  • Chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc.;
  • Degenerative diseases that require the use of prosthetic devices (e.g., joint prostheses, implantable cardiac devices); and
  • Use of invasive medical devices, such as central venous lines, urinary catheters or enteral feeding tubes

People with cognitive impairment may not be compliant with sanitary practices such as handwashing and basic personal hygiene, leading to an increased risk of infection.

Resources Created by HHSC

Resources from Other Organizations

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)

  • Infection Preventionist’s Guide to Long-Term Care is available for purchase from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). This guide provides a comprehensive approach to developing a facility-wide infection prevention and control program.
  • Recommended Practices for Surveillance (PDF) outlines the seven recommended practices for monitoring, measuring, and reporting important outcomes and processes to assist surveillance program development.

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)

  • DSHS Influenza provides Texas-specific information regarding the distribution of flu cases across the state, as well as updates on locations for receiving immunizations.
  • Notifiable Conditions is a current list of infectious diseases and other conditions that must be reported to state and/or local health authorities. Information on reporting procedures in included as well.
  • Antibiotic Resistant/Multi-Drug Organisms provides information on drug-resistant organisms, including MRSA, C. diff and CRE.
  • Infection Prevention and Control Overview is a brief video developed by the DSHS Healthcare Safety Training Unit. The video highlights the importance of infection control, what germs need to spread, and the types of precautions used in healthcare settings.

Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology (SPICE)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

World Health Organization