Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can be identified through a variety of methods including observing the patient and reviewing the patient’s medical record including antibiotic orders, healthcare provider notes, microbiology reports, and/or laboratory results. Healthcare facilities collect data on HAIs using standardized definitions and may share the data with different groups inside (ex. unit staff, Infection Control Committee) and outside the facility (ex. Board of Directors, health department, general public). Monitoring HAIs allows the facility to detect trends, identify risk factors for infection, guide treatment, assess the impact of their prevention measures, as well as detect potential outbreaks or clusters of illness.
For more information on HAI surveillance measures and resources for tracking infections, please see the HAI Surveillance page.
Reporting healthcare-associated infections to the public gives consumers access to information about healthcare facilities in their area, but is only one of the pieces of information that a consumer should use to choose a healthcare facility. Consumers should consider the experience of the facility staff, the advice of their physician, and all other factors that are unique to his or her situation, in addition to infection data. In Virginia, central line-associated bloodstream infection data from acute care hospitals have been shared with the Virginia Department of Health since July 2008.
As of September 2015, the Regulations for Disease Reporting and Control were updated to align state HAI reporting requirements with those of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program.
For more information on the reporting requirements and to see reports of these data, please see the Public Reporting page.