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What are healthcare associated infections (HAIs)?

Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are infections contracted by patients during an inpatient stay at a hospital or other healthcare facility. Common HAIs include sepsis, surgical site infections (SSIs), Clostridium difficile (C. diff.), central line-associated blood stream infection (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

Why are healthcare associated infections (HAIs) important in healthcare?

Incidence of HAIs are tracked by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and hospitals are required to report infections data to the CDC to receive Medicare reimbursements. Frequent reports of HAIs can indicate improper staffing ratios and lapses in proper sterilization procedures.

Preventable HAIs cost health systems and care facilities billions of dollars each year and are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and other complications. These infections can be prevented through clinician adherence to safety and sterilization guidelines.