About Hospital-Acquired Infections
 
What are hospital-acquired infections?
Sometimes when patients are admitted to the hospital, they can get infections. These are called hospital-acquired infections. In the case of C. difficile, this may mean that symptoms began 72 hours after admission to the hospital; or that the infection was present at the time of admission but was related to a previous admission to that hospital within the last four weeks.

How does Headwaters Health Care Centre control the spread of infections?
Headwaters Health Care Centre's Infection Prevention & Control Unit is responsible for working with employees, visitors and patients to minimize hospital-acquired infections. To control the spread of these infections, we use routine practices such as: hand washing, environmental cleaning, sterilization of equipment, single use of supplies, education and additional isolation precautions.

How should the numbers be used?
The public reporting of hospital-acquired infection rates is not intended to serve as a measure for hospitals to compare themselves against other organizations, or for the public to use as a measure of where to seek care.
Some hospitals may experience higher rates of infections due to their type (i.e. acute care) and patient population (i.e. elderly). A high number of cases in a one-month period does not necessarily mean that a hospital is “unsafe”; a lower number of cases in a one-month period does not necessarily mean that a hospital is “safe”. That is why it is vital that infection rates be viewed in the context of other performance indicators.
 
Tracking and analyzing our infection rates over time will provide us with helpful information that we can use to make quality improvements in our organization.