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HAI Validation

CLABSI and SSI Infection Validation Studies

The Oregon Public Health Division performs independent validation of hospital results to ensure Oregon healthcare-associated infection data is accurately and completely reported.

Validation studies allow us to:

  • Monitor accuracy of data submitted by hospitals to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)
  • Assess hospital surveillance systems and their use of NHSN definitions
  • Ensure that hospitals are reporting infections in a consistent fashion

On this page:

Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI) Validation

A central line-associated bloodstream infection is a serious infection that occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream through a central line. A central line is a catheter (tube) that healthcare providers place in a large vein in the neck, chest, or arm to provide fluids, blood, or medications. Commonly found in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting, central lines are different from short-term intravenous catheter’s (IVs) because they terminate in major veins close to the heart. They can remain in place for weeks or even months, and are much more likely to cause a serious infection.

CLABSIs result in thousands of deaths each year and billions of dollars in added costs to the U.S. healthcare system, yet these infections are preventable. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 250,000 CLABSI cases occur each year in U.S. hospitals, resulting in a range of 30,000 to 62,000 deaths. It is estimated that U.S. hospitals spend up to 2.68 billion dollars annually to manage CLABSI cases.

2014 Validation Study

Currently, Oregon Public Health Division is performing a statewide validation of ICU CLABSI and denominator data during 2012 using a targeted sample of 23 Oregon hospitals. Study results will be reported in late 2014.

2011 Validation Study

During 2011, the Oregon Public Health Division completed a statewide validation of ICU CLABSI data reported by 44 hospitals during 2009 to determine the accuracy of data submitted by hospitals to NHSN during the first reporting year. Validation focused on assessing hospital surveillance systems and their use of NHSN definitions. Such validation projects ensure that hospital surveillance systems consistently apply NHSN CLABSI definitions.

Surgical Site Infection (SSI) Validation

The Oregon Public Health Division is conducting a data validation study of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and surgical site infections occurring with patients hospitalized in Oregon due to procedures performed in 2009 and 2010. This procedure and time frame is chosen to establish a baseline for comprehensive validation of Oregon's reportable healthcare-associated infection data for SSIs.

A surgical site infection (SSI) is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Though SSIs can sometimes be superficial infections, involving only the skin, other times SSIs can be deeper and involve tissues beneath the skin in organs, or implanted material. Validation of SSI data is necessary to ensure accurate hospital reporting.

Oregon’s SSI data validation efforts will monitor the accuracy of data submitted by 14 hospitals that reported CABG SSI data during 2009 and 2010 to the NHSN, assess hospital surveillance systems, and evaluate the use of NHSN definitions. The validation will occur between September 2011 and June 2012. The findings of this validation project will provide guidance to hospital staff on their use of surveillance definitions, reporting methods, and the NHSN.

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