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When patients get an infection while in hospital, it delays healing, extends the patient's length of stay and increases their risk for harm and readmission. By implementing infection prevention and control practices, patients are safer. Organisms can be spread from person to person in the hospital in different ways. Bacteria can be spread between patients on pieces of equipment and on unwashed hands. Since germs can live on many surfaces, staff, family and visitors can spread infections without knowing. Healthcare workers, patients, family, friends and visitors all have a role to play in preventing healthcare-associated infections. Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to stop the spread of infections (Canadian Patient Safety Institute 2012).

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