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Healthcare-Associated Infections

The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Prevention Program’s primary objective is to reduce targeted infections that patients acquire in healthcare settings while receiving treatment for medical and surgical conditions.
This will require a combination of:
1) Implementing targeted statewide disease surveillance systems in healthcare facilities and electronic reporting from targeted laboratories.
2) Convening a multidisciplinary advisory group to assist the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) in creating a State Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections.
3) Training of healthcare infection preventionists in disease prevention strategies.
4) Establishing a prevention collaborative among acute care hospitals.

Oklahoma’s HAI Background

In 2006, the Oklahoma State Legislature passed House Bill 2842 which amended {63 O.S. § Section 1-707} to expand the authority of the Oklahoma Hospital Advisory Council to require public reporting of hospital infection rates for intensive care unit (ICU) patients for: 1) ventilator-associated pneumonia, and 2) device-related blood stream infections. Rules issued by OSDH [Oklahoma Administrative Code Title 310 Chapter 667 – 310:667-1-3(h) and (i)] require any hospital licensed in the State of Oklahoma to utilize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) database as the reporting mechanism for these infections in adult ICUs. Fifty hospitals in Oklahoma have been identified as having adult intensive care units and are currently reporting Catheter-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI) and Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP) events through the NHSN. For the purposes of OSDH reporting, each facility must file a monthly NHSN Patient Safety Monthly Report Plan for each unit. Only a few large hospitals previously participated in the NHSN until this reporting initiative began. The responsibility for the reporting and monitoring of these healthcare-associated infections resides in the Medical Facilities Service, the regulatory branch of the OSDH.

Oklahoma’s HAI State Plan

In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Oklahoma State Department of Health was required to submit a HAI State Plan. The plan outlines the timelines of the various benchmarks of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) HAI Grant.
HAI State Plan

Oklahoma’s HAI Newsletter

This quarterly newsletter gives an overview of the activity of the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s HAI Prevention Program



Catheter-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI)

A “central line” or “central catheter” is a tube that is placed into a patient’s large vein, usually in the neck, chest, arm, or groin. The catheter is often used to draw blood, or give fluids or medications. It may be left in place for several weeks. A bloodstream infection can occur when bacteria or other germs travel down a “central line” and enter the blood. If you develop a catheter-associated bloodstream infection you may become ill with fevers and chills or the skin around the catheter may become sore and red.

Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP)

A “pneumonia” is an infection of the lungs. A “ventilator” is a machine that helps a patient breathe by giving oxygen through a tube. The tube can be placed in a patient’s mouth, nose, or through a hole in the front of the neck. The tube is connected to a ventilator. A “ventilator-associated pneumonia” or “VAP” is a lung infection or pneumonia that develops in a person who is on a ventilator.
FAQ about VAP

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Staphylococcus aureus (pronounced staff-ill-oh-KOK-us AW-ree-us), or “Staph” is a very common germ that about 1 out of every 3 people have on their skin or in their nose. This germ does not cause any problems for most people who have it on their skin. But sometimes it can cause serious infections such as skin or wound infections, pneumonia, or infections of the blood.
Antibiotics are given to kill Staph germs when they cause infections. Some Staph are resistant, meaning they cannot be killed by some antibiotics. “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus” or “MRSA” is a type of Staph that is resistant to some of the antibiotics that are often used to treat Staph infections.
FAQ about MRSA

National Healthcare Safety Network (CDC)

The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) is a voluntary, secure, Internet-based surveillance system that integrates patient and healthcare personnel safety surveillance systems managed by the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) at CDC