Preventing Serious Infections
Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients get in health care facilities including hospitals, surgical centers, outpatient settings, and long-term care facilities while they are being treated for something else. These infections are often associated with invasive medical devices like catheters, and procedures such as surgeries, which are part of the patient’s treatment. HAIs are the most common complication of hospital care and are associated with increased days in the hospital and substantial increases in health care costs. Studies have shown that prevention practices can reduce certain HAIs by up to 70% when implemented and the savings, nationally, in medical costs has been estimated at $25 to $31.5 billion.
The important thing to note is that these infections are preventable.
Given the impact of HAIs, a number of states, including Maryland and the federal government now require hospitals and other health care organizations to collect and publicly report HAI data. This website is one way the Maryland Health Care Commission shares this important information with the public. Although much remains to be done, this focus on HAIs has resulted in significant improvement in hospital performance over time.
Patients in intensive care units are among the sickest patients in the hospital. These patients were the focus of an initiative that includes federal, state, and provider collaboration to improve the care provided to ICU patients. Over the past six years, Maryland hospitals have reduced certain bloodstream infections in intensive care units by over 40% (Learn More). Maryland hospitals have also reduced certain surgical site infections by over 30% in the last three years (Learn More).