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Home Topics Infectious Diseases Infections A-Z Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI)

Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI)

hospital ward

HCAI are infections that are acquired as a result of healthcare interventions. There are a number of factors that can increase the risk of acquiring an infection, but high standards of infection control practice minimise the risk of occurrence.

Image used with permission from Glasgow Caledonian University

The Health Protection Agency assists infection control and the control of antimicrobial resistance in the healthcare setting by monitoring these infections with mandatory and voluntary surveillance schemes covering, meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile infection (C. diff/CDI), glycopeptide-resistant enterococci (GRE), bacteraemia (blood stream infection), surgical site infections (of which some orthopaedic categories are mandatory) via the surgical site infection surveillance scheme (SSISS). Other healthcare associated infections, including antimicrobial (antoibiotic) resistant micro-organisms are also monitored via a voluntary microbiology laboratory reporting system.