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Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)

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What is an HAI?

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are infections acquired during the course of medical care in a healthcare facility. For more information, please visit CDC’s HAI Burden page. In Delaware, these often occur through catheter use in the blood or urinary tract, or in surgical sites.

Why do I care?

HAIs can be severe and sometimes deadly. About 1 in every 20 inpatients contracts an HAI during their hospital stay. These complications are among the top 10 leading causes of death in the country. For more information please read the research article found at this link.

What is being done?

Through prevention, surveillance, and response activities, the Division of Public Health is committed to reducing the number of HAIs in hospitals throughout the state and ensuring the highest quality healthcare for all Delawareans.

Current Prevention Initiatives in Delaware

Prevention of HAIs is of utmost importance among healthcare and public health communities. The Division of Public Health works with networks of healthcare facilities along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Quality Insights of Delaware, infection control organizations, academic organizations, laboratorians, and others to reduce the occurrence of HAIs across Delaware. These activities include:

One Needle, One Syringe, Only OneTime.Safe Injection Practices Coalition.

  • Improving data to identify and prevent HAI outbreaks or transmission in healthcare settings.
  • Developing and disseminating provider and patient education materials.
  • Conducting validations studies to assess the quality of HAI data reported.
  • Providing consumers access to useful healthcare quality measures through quarterly reports.

Healthcare Facilities

 Acute Care Hospitals  Urgent care or other short-term stay facilities for surgery, acute medical conditions, or injuries (e.g. critical access facilities, oncology facilities, military/VA facilities).
 Outpatient Dialysis Facilities  Facilities that treat hemodialysis patients in-center, as part of the End Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program through the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.
 Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals  Hospitals that treat patients that may require extended care, typically for more than 25 days. Most of these patients are transferred from an intensive or critical care unit.
 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities  A hospital that specializes in therapies to help restore a patient's functional abilities.
 Ambulatory Surgery Centers  Facilities that perform procedures that do not require the patient to stay overnight in the hospital. Also known as outpatient or same-day surgery centers.
 Long-Term Care Facilities  Nursing homes, assisted living, chronic care facilities, and skilled nursing facilities. These facilities are not required to report HAIs in Delaware. However, HAIs remain a burden in many long-term care facilities.

For information on current and upcoming reporting requirements for each of these facilities, see the Healthcare Facility HAI Reporting Requirements to CMS.

The National Movement to Eliminate HAIs

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Compare Your Facility to Others in the United States

Delaware’s HAI Policies

Delaware Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee

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