Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) occur commonly, cause significant harm to patients, and result in excess healthcare expenditures. The urinary tract is frequently cited as the most common site of HAI, but these estimates were extrapolated from National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance (NNIS) data from the 1990s. Updated information regarding the relative burden of specific types of HAIs would help governmental agencies and other stakeholders within the field of infection prevention to prioritize areas for research and innovation. The objective of our study was to assess the relative proportion of HAIs attributed to each of the following 5 types of infection in a network of community hospitals: catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), surgical site infection (SSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
We performed a retrospective cohort study using prospectively collected HAI surveillance data from hospitals participating in the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON). DICON hospital epidemiologists and liaison infection preventionists work directly with local hospital infection preventionists to provide surveillance data validation, benchmarking, and infection prevention consultation services to participating hospitals.