Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) are infections which are not present at the time the patient’s healthcare begins, but which arise afterwards. There is evidence from several countries that HAIs are avoidable and costly to the health service and to patients. HAIs are also a source of discomfort, disability and distress to the individuals affected.
Health Protection Scotland (HPS) was commissioned by the Scottish Executive Health Department (SEHD) Healthcare Associated Infection Task Force (HAITF) to develop and document a methodology for establishing the burden of HAI and, using this methodology, to undertake a national survey of healthcare associated infection (HAI) in Scotland.
The survey of 13754 inpatients took place from October 2005 to October 2006. The hospitals surveyed included all acute hospitals in Scotland and a representative sample of non-acute hospitals in Scotland.
The rigorous methodology developed for this survey can be used at intervals to evaluate trends in HAI, locally and nationally.