Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention and Control (HAI) - Community Resources


National Healthcare Safety Network

CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network is the nation's most widely used healthcare-associated infection tracking system. NHSN provides facilities, states, regions, and the nation with data needed to identify problem areas, measure progress of prevention efforts, and ultimately eliminate healthcare associated infections. On October 1, 2009, NRS 439.847, the statutes that set forth required reporting to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) became effective. Every facility mandated to report through the NHSN has been previously notified of this requirement; however, not all facilities required to report through NHSN have joined the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (NDPBH) group. Every facility mandated by these statutes is also required to join the NDPBH group and grant the state access to its data. This is not an option. Please refer to NRS 439.847 for further details.

Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infection (CLABSI)

A "Central Line" or Central Catheter" is a tube that is placed into a patient's large vein, usually in the neck, chest, arm or groin. The catheter is often used to draw blood, or give fluids and medications. It may be left in place for several weeks. A bloodstream infection can occur when bacteria or other germs travel down a "central line" and enter the blood. An estimated 248,000 bloodstream infections occur in U.S. hospitals each year. It is believed that a large proportion of these are associated with the presence of a central vascular catheter, though this is an area where more study is needed. For the purposes of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), a voluntary, secure, internet-based surveillance system that integrates and expands legacy patient and healthcare personnel safety surveillance systems managed by the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) at CDC, such infections are termed central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). Bloodstream infections are usually serious infections typically causing a prolongation of hospital stay, and increased cost, and risk of mortality. CLABSI can be prevented through proper management of the central line. These techniques are addressed in CDC's Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (CDC/HIPAC) Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter Related Infections.

Surgical Site Infection (SSI)

A surgical site infection is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Most patients who have surgery do not develop an infection. However, infections develop in about 1 to 3 of every 100 patients who have surgery. About 27 million surgical procedures are performed each year in the United States. a CDC estimate from 2001 suggests that approximately 290,000 surgical site infections occur every year. Approximately 8,000 patient deaths are associated with these infections. An infection is considered to be an SSI when it occurs at the site of surgery within 30 days of an operation or within 1 year of an operation if a foreign body (e.g., an artificial heart valve or joint) is implanted as part of the surgery. Most SSIs (about 70%) are superficial infections involving the skin only. The remaining infections are more serious and can involve tissues under the skin, organs, or implanted material. The majority of SSIs do not become life-threatening. The key factors in the prevention of SSIs are the proper surgical techniques performed by the surgical staff, as well as the general health condition of the patient. The Best Practice tool provides guidelines to reduce SSIs following the recommendations developed by the CDC/HICPAC.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

Staphylococcus aureus, is a type of bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Sometimes, staph can cause an infection. Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections. However, staph bacteria also can cause serious infections (such as surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia). "MRSA" stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and refers to types of staph that are resistant to a type of antibiotic methicillin. MRSA is often resistant to other antibiotics, as well. Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities. These healthcare associated staph infections include surgical wound infections, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia. Staph and MRSA can also cause illness in persons outside of hospitals and healthcare facilities. MRSA infections that are acquired by persons who have not been recently hospitalized or had a medical procedure (such as dialysis, surgery, catheters) are known as community-associated MRSA infections. Staph or MRSA infections in the community are usually manifested as skin infections that look like pimples or boils and occur in otherwise healthy people.

Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI)

Urinary tract infections are the most common type of healthcare associated infections, accounting for more than 30 percent of healthcare associated infections reported by acute care hospitals. Virtually all healthcare associated urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by instrumentation of the urinary tract (e.g. insertion of catheters). CAUTI has been associated with increased morbidity, mortality, hospital cost, and length of stay. The good news is that many CAUTIs may be prevented with recommended infection control measures. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) has released the revised 2009 Guideline for Prevention of CAUTIs, which provides valuable prevention information for healthcare providers.

Clostridium Difficile Infection (CDI)

Clostridium difficile [klo-STRID-ee-um dif-uh0SEEL] is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis. They are diseases that result from C. difficile infections such as Colitis, more serious intestinal conditions, sepsis, and rarely death. C. difficile is generally treated for 10 days with antibiotics prescribed by your healthcare provider. The drugs are effective and appear to have few side-effects. People in good health usually do not get C. difficile disease. People who have other illnesses or conditions requiring prolonged use of antibiotics and the elderly are at greater risk of acquiring this disease. The bacteria are found in feces. People can become infected if they touch items or surfaces that are contaminated with feces and then touch their moth or mucous membranes. Healthcare workers can spread the bacteria to other patients or contaminate surfaces through hand contact.

Multidrug-Resistant Organisms (MDROs)

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp. (VRE) and certain gram-negative bacilli have increased in prevalence in U.S. hospitals over the last three decades, and have important implications for patient safety. A primary reason for concern about these multidrug-resistant organisms (NDROs) is that options for treating patients with these infections are often extremely limited, and MDRO infections are associated with increase lengths of stay, costs, and mortality. Many of these traits have also been observed for Clostridium difficile-associated disease CDAD).

Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria or other microbes to resist the effects of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply causing ore harm. Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world's most pressing public health problems. Almost every type of bacteria has become stronger and less responsive to antibiotic treatment when it is really needed. These antibiotic-resistant bacteria can quickly spread to family members, schoolmates, and co-works - threatening the community with a new strain of infectious disease that is more difficult to cure and more expensive to treat. Please visit CDC Antibiotic / Antimicrobial Resistance website. This page provides links to education campaigns developed by CDC together with partners to address the issue of antimicrobial resistance in various settings.

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Last Updated: 8/6/2015