A healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is an infection that a patient acquires in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient dialysis centers, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities.
HAIs are caused by a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and are often associated with medical devices. Some of the bacteria are multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO).
Many HAIs cause significant morbidity and mortality, particularly among immunocompromised, elderly, or vulnerable populations. Oregon Public Health is working with healthcare facilities to improve patient safety by improving infection prevention knowledge and practice.
Categories of HAI infections include:
- Surgical site infections (SSIs)
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs)
- Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs)
- Bloodstream infections (BSIs)
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAPs)
- Skin and soft tissue infections
- Infections such as MRSA, VRE, CRE, MDR Acinetobacter spp., MDR Pseudomonas spp.,and Clostridium difficile
- Dialysis-related bloodstream infections
An estimated 5-15% of all hospitalized patients experience an HAI. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that approximately 2 million infections and 90,000 deaths are contracted in U.S. healthcare facilities yearly, resulting in an estimated 4.5 billion dollars in excess medical costs.