Skip to main content

Healthcare-Associated Infections

The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) and Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Prevention Program’s primary objective is to reduce targeted infections that individuals may acquire in healthcare settings while receiving treatment for medical and surgical conditions. 
This will require a combination of: 

  1. Implementing targeted statewide disease surveillance systems in healthcare facilities and electronic reporting from targeted laboratories. 
  2. Convening a multidisciplinary advisory group to assist the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) in creating a State Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antibiotic Resistance. 
  3. Training of healthcare infection preventionists in disease prevention strategies. 
  4. Establishing a prevention collaborative among acute care hospitals.
  5. Developing and maintaining the HAI/AR Prevention Program infrastructure and capacity to complete the program activities that achieve state goals and supports both the OSDH and program’s missions.
  6. Assisting local and county public health agencies to investigate unusual infection occurrences and outbreaks in healthcare facilities.

In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Oklahoma State Department of Health submitted a HAI State Plan in 2015. The Statewide Action Plan for HAI/AR Prevention outlines the timelines and activities of the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Funding HAI Grant.

A “central line” or “central catheter” is a tube that is placed into a patient’s large vein, usually in the neck, chest, arm, or groin. The catheter is often used to draw blood, or give fluids or medications. It may be left in place for several weeks. A bloodstream infection can occur when bacteria or other germs travel down a “central line” and enter the blood. If you develop a catheter-associated bloodstream infection you may become ill with fevers and chills or the skin around the catheter may become sore and red.

A “pneumonia” is an infection of the lungs. A “ventilator” is a machine that helps a patient breathe by giving oxygen through a tube. The tube can be placed in a patient’s mouth, nose, or through a hole in the front of the neck. The tube is connected to a ventilator. A “ventilator-associated pneumonia” or “VAP” is a lung infection or pneumonia that develops in a person who is on a ventilator.
FAQ about VAP

Staphylococcus aureus (pronounced staff-ill-oh-KOK-us AW-ree-us), or “Staph” is a very common germ that about 1 out of every 3 people have on their skin or in their nose. This germ does not cause any problems for most people who have it on their skin. But sometimes it can cause serious infections such as skin or wound infections, pneumonia, or infections of the blood.
Antibiotics are given to kill Staph germs when they cause infections. Some Staph are resistant, meaning they cannot be killed by some antibiotics. “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus” or “MRSA” is a type of Staph that is resistant to some of the antibiotics that are often used to treat Staph infections.
FAQ about MRSA

The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) is a voluntary, secure, Internet-based surveillance system that integrates patient and healthcare personnel safety surveillance systems managed by the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) at CDC

Oklahoma participates in a national educational campaign to promote appropriate antibiotic use in the community. The campaign, “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work” teaches patients and the general public that antibiotics are precious resources that must be used correctly to preserve their usefulness. Specifically it focuses on clarifying that viruses cause most respiratory infections, and that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.  Information about over-the-counter symptom relief for respiratory infections is included in the educational materials.  The goal of this campaign is that patients become comfortable asking their doctors for the best care for their illnesses, rather than asking for antibiotics.  Below are links to resources about appropriate antibiotic use.