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Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)

Glossary of Terms & Acronyms

 


A

  • Ambulatory Surgical Center, Ambulatory Surgical Facility - A healthcare facility that offers surgical services only to patients who go home the same day of the procedure or surgery.

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C

  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) - An emerging type of untreatable or difficult-to-treat Enterobacteriaceae that have developed high levels of resistance to antibiotics, including last-resort antibiotics called carbapenems.
  • Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) - An infection caused by germs that enter a person's kidneys, bladder, ureters or urethra through a urinary catheter – a tube inserted into the bladder to drain urine.
  • CAUTI– see Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection
  • CDI – see Clostridium difficile Infection (also known as C. diff, C. difficile and CDAD, or Clostridium difficile-associated disease)
  • Central line - A long tube inserted in the neck, chest, arm or leg that ends near the heart. The line is used for taking blood samples, measuring blood pressure and giving medications. Also known as a central venous catheter.
  • Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI) - An infection that spreads through the blood from a central line, often from the insertion site of the line.
  • CI – Confidence Intervals (used in reference to statistics)
  • CLABSI – see Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection
  • Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI) - An intestinal illness caused by toxins produced by a specific type of bacteria called Clostridium difficile. (also known as C. diff, C. difficile and CDAD, or Clostridium difficile-associated disease)
  • Community-Acquired Infection - An infection that occurs without recent exposure to possible healthcare-associated infection risk in a hospital, clinic, doctor's office, or home-care treatment by a healthcare provider.
  • CPAP machine - Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine. A type of respiratory ventilator used in treatment of sleep apnea, COPD and other conditions involving respiratory distress.
  • CRE - see Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae
  • Cross-infection - Infection of a patient with bacteria from another person.

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E

  • Epidemiology - The study of distribution and determinants of disease.
  • Extended-spectrum ß-lactamase - Beta-lactamases are enzymes that destroy certain antibiotics; ESBLs are bacteria that have acquired these enzymes and become resistant to those antibiotics.

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H

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I

  • ICD-9 – International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision
  • ICP - see Infection Control Practitioner
  • ICU – see Intensive Care Unit
  • Incidence Rate - The proportion of a population that has a particular condition that began during a given time period. An incidence rate is measured in one of three ways: attack rate, incidence density rate, or cumulative incidence risk.
  • Infection Control Practitioner/Infection Control Professional/Infection Preventionist (ICP or IP) - A healthcare worker who specializes in infection surveillance, control and prevention.
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) - An area of a hospital where the most intensive monitoring and advanced support are provided to critically ill patients.
  • IP – see Infection Control Practitioner/Infection Control Professional/Infection Preventionist (also known as ICP).

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L

  • Long-Term Acute Care Facility or Hospital (LTAC) - A healthcare facility authorized by the Department of Health and Human Services to specialize in 24-hour inpatient medical and rehabilitative care for patients who have medically complex needs. These patients typically are bed-bound, ventilator dependent, and require daily assessment by a physician. These facilities are not identical to chronic care, skilled nursing, acute rehabilitation or short-term acute care hospital facilities.

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M

  • MDRO – Multidrug-Resistant Organism
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) - A type of bacteria that has become resistant to a group of drugs that are commonly given for staphylococcus ("staph") infections. Not all Staphylococcus aureus are resistant to these drugs. The sensitive strains are called MSSA.
  • MRSA – see Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • MSSAStaphylococcus aureus bacteria that are susceptible (not resistant) to methicillin drugs that are commonly given for staphylococcus (“staph”) infections. (see also MRSA)
  • Multidrug-resistant Organism (MDRO) - Bacteria that have become unusually resistant to many of the drugs that used to be effective against them.

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N

  • National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) External link - A voluntary, secure, internet-based patient and healthcare personnel safety surveillance system managed by CDC. Enrollment in NHSN is open to acute care hospitals, long-term acute care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient dialysis centers, ambulatory surgery centers, long-term care facilities and other healthcare facilities in the U.S. Facilities applying for enrollment must meet certain criteria and undergo training in order to participate.
  • NC EDSS – N.C. Electronic Disease Surveillance System. North Carolina's statewide web-based communicable disease surveillance and reporting system used by N.C. DPH, local health departments and the State Lab of Public Health.
  • Nosocomial - This term indicates a hospital-associated or hospital-acquired condition, typically used in the context of nosocomial infections.

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P

  • PSO – Patient Safety Organization
  • Prevalence Rate - The proportion of a population that has a particular condition at any given time, whether as a new or chronic case.

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  • QIO – Quality Improvement Organization

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  • SIR – see Standardized Infection Ratio
  • SSI – see Surgical Site Infection
  • Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR) - A summary measure used to track healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) at a national, state, or local level over time. The SIR adjusts for the fact that each healthcare facility treats different types of patients. See the State-Specific Healthcare-Associated Infections Summary Data Report at www.cdc.gov/hai/QA_stateSummary.html. External link
  • Surgical Site Infection (SSI) - An infection that is related to a surgical wound or the organ spaces near the wound.

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V

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