The healthcare-associated infection (HAI) measures show how often patients in a particular hospital contract certain infections during the course of their medical treatment, when compared to like hospitals. These infections can often be prevented when healthcare facilities follow guidelines for safe care. These infections can be related to devices, such as central lines and urinary catheters, or spread from patient to patient after contact with an infected person or surface. Many healthcare associated infections can be prevented when the hospitals use CDC-recommended infection control steps. To get payment from CMS, hospitals are required to report data about some infections to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)- Opens in a new window. Information for CMS reporting is currently collected through NHSN about central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, MRSA Bacteremia and C.difficile laboratory-identified events. Future reporting will include healthcare worker influenza vaccination coverage and more. The public reporting of these data is part of a movement by the Department of Health and Human Services to make healthcare safer.
The HAI measures apply to all patients treated in acute care hospitals , including adult, pediatric, neonatal, Medicare, and non-Medicare patients. CLABSI and CAUTI data are also available for HAIs that occurred in patients in intensive care units (ICUs), and medical, surgical, and medical/surgical ward locations.