Quality Definitions and Methodology

Healthcare Associated Infections

Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) are serious conditions that occur in some hospitalized patients. Many HAIs occur when devices, such as central lines and urinary catheters, are inserted into the body. Hospitals can prevent HAIs by following guidelines for safe care.
HAI-1-SIR. Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI)

This refers to infections caused by a vascular catheter, which is a thin flexible plastic tube inserted into a patient's vein. Vascular catheters make drawing blood or giving medications easy. Patients who need vascular catheters for a long period of time may need to have them put in during surgery.

Vascular catheters can put patients at risk for infections and serious complications, especially if they are kept in for long periods of time. These might include skin infections at the site where the catheter was inserted and bloodstream infections. Patients who have poor circulation because of diseases such as diabetes have a greater risk of infection.

Hospitals can prevent vascular catheter-associated infections by choosing the best sites for inserting the catheter, using the right catheter material, keeping the site clean, and removing the catheter when it's no longer needed. Hospitals with high rates of this complication may not be following these procedures.

Lower numbers are better.

HAI-2-SIR. Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI)
HAI-3-SIR. Surgical Site Infections from colon surgery (SSI: Colon)
HAI-4-SIR. Surgical Site Infections from abdominal hysterectomy (SSI: Hysterectomy)
HAI-5-SIR. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (or MRSA) blood infections
HAI-6-SIR. Clostridium difficile (or C.diff.) Infections (intestinal infections)