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Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are the most common adverse event encountered by hospitalized patients. In response to the significant impact that HAIs have had on both patients and the health care system, state law requires the Maryland Health Care Commission to collect and report data on HAIs through the Maryland Hospital Performance Evaluation Guide. This Guide includes measures that compare hospital performance on processes of care quality measures that are designed to prevent infections for patients undergoing surgery and on outcome measures of care. To view information on the Surgical Care Improvement Project, click here.

Process of Care Quality Measures

Active Surveillance Testing (AST) for MRSA in ICUs

The Hospital Guide includes hospital rates for active surveillance testing (AST) for MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). This measure shows the percentage of patients admitted to the ICU who are screened for the presence of MRSA. It is important to note that this is a process measure that focuses on screening patients to prevent and control the spread of infections.

To view information about AST for MRSA in ICUs, please click the AST link above.

Health Care Workers (HCW) Seasonal Influenza Vaccinations

The vaccination of health care workers to reduce the risk to patients of acquiring an influenza infection while in the hospital is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other professional organizations. The Maryland Health Care Commission's Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee prioritized this process of care measure for public reporting and developed an online survey to capture health care worker vaccination rates for individual hospitals. Hospitals are required to report data on all paid, full-time and part-time employees and house staff (defined as residents and interns) who received FluMistŪ or injectable seasonal influenza vaccine (excluding Novel H1N1) on-site or off-site between September 1, 2012 and April 15, 2013.

To view information on Health Care Worker Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Rates in hospitals, please click the HCW link above.

Outcome of Care Quality Measures

Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI)

Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI) are bloodstream infections associated with the presence of a central line. Most CLABSIs can be prevented by proper line insertion technique and subsequent care. Maryland hospitals report CLABSI for all adult and pediatric intensive care units (ICUs) as well as neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).

To view information on Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infections in hospitals, please click the CLABSI link above.

Surgical Site Infections (SSI)

A surgical site infection (SSI) is an infection that occurs after surgery. Surgical site infections can be superficial, but sometimes they can be more serious and affect deep soft tissue or organs. The data reported here includes only the more serious infections that involve deep incisions into tissue, organs or the space surrounding organs. Three common procedure categories are included in this release of the Hospital Guide; hip replacement, knee replacement, and Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) procedures. These SSIs were detected during the hospital admission where the operation was performed or during readmission to the hospital. The Maryland Health Care Commission plans to expand SSI reporting for additional procedure categories in the future.

To view information on surgical site infections in hospitals, please click the SSI link above.