Health care providers have an ethical and legal responsibility to protect patients from infectious diseases. Health care facilities who fail to implement efficient infection control precautions risk patient safety resulting in a SARS outbreak. “Improper sterilization of equipment exposed patients to diseases including HIV, Hepatitis, and bloodstream infections that risk patient safety” (Bailey & Ries, 2010, p. 141). A hospital or health care facility acquired infection exhibits signs about three days after a patient is admitted. Infections acquired in a hospital are defined as Nosocomial infections. Ineffective infection control creates safety concerns for patients because the result in most cases is death of the patient. Infections obtained in a medical facility are usually antibiotic resistant “Bloodstream infections (BSIs) are major causes of morbidity and mortality On the basis of data from death certificates, these infections are the 10th leading cause of death in the United States” (Wisplinghoff, Bischoff, Tallent, Seifert, Wenzel & Edmond, 2004, p. 309). Patient safety issues are responsible for a number of lawsuits.
“Health Grades Inc., a U.S. company that evaluates safety and quality concerns in health facilities, reported that rates of hospital-acquired infections in the United States rose by 20% between 2000 and 2003, contributing to around 9,500 deaths” (Bailey & Ries, 2010, p. 141). Health care facilities have a legal obligation to protect patients from Nosocomial infection or any other harm while receiving medical care. When patients experience harm because of a lapse in infection control during the course of medical care, legal issues regarding liability result in a large class action lawsuits if more than one patient experienced harm. A health care organization is liable “for a patient’s infection if negligence is the fault of the health care facility. To minimize the risk of lawsuits healthcare organizations should educate staff in infection prevention and ensure that proper procedures are followed by all health care professionals” (University of Michigan, 2002, p.