Quality Measures

How We Measure Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections

Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) measures how often patients in the hospital get certain serious infections that could have been prevented. Hospitals can prevent these infections by following the right steps.

HAIs are rare, but they have a big impact. These infections can cause serious injury and harm, and in some cases death. Treating them is also very expensive. HAIs make hospital stays longer, can cause long-term disabilities, and can make a patient more vulnerable to other diseases.

Two of the most common HAIs are:1

  • Clostridium difficile (C. diff): A bacteria that causes diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and stomach pain. It has become drug resistant and could be fatal. Older adults, people on antibiotics and those recovering from surgery are most likely to get C. diff.
  • Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA): A bacteria that can cause infection in people. "Regular" strains of staph bacteria can usually be treated by the antibiotic Methicillin. However, some strains of staph have developed that resist the effect of Methicillin and similar drugs. MRSA is hard to treat because it resists so many antibiotics.

Our data come from the Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The data on CompareMaine covers the October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018 reporting period.

CompareMaine reports performance ratings using Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR), which adjusts for differences in the characteristics of hospitals and patients. A SIR greater than 1.0 means that there were more HAIs in a facility than were predicted. A SIR lower than 1.0 indicates the facility had fewer HAIs than were predicted. Visit the CMS website on HAIs for more information.