Glossary of HAI Terms

Georgia Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Program

Glossary of HAI Terms

Ambulatory Surgical Center, Ambulatory Surgical Facility
Healthcare facilities that offer surgical services only to patients who go home the same day of the procedure.

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC)
A voluntary membership organization representing members in this profession.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
One of the foremost national agencies in the world that serves to support and advance public health. It provides disease surveillance, reference laboratory testing, field investigation and educational service expertise throughout the United States and abroad

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
A federal agency that runs the national health insurance programs Medicare and Medicaid

Central line
A long tube inserted in the neck, chest, arm, or leg that ending near the heart. The line is used for taking blood samples, measuring blood pressure and giving medications.

Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs)
An infection that spreads through the blood from its origin, the insertion site of the central line.

Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc.
An independent testing board that certifies infection prevention professionals by a formal written examination.

Clostridium difficile-Associated Disease (CDI)
An intestinal illness caused by toxins produced by the bacteria called Clostridium difficile.

Community-Acquired Infection                                                                    An infection that occurs without exposure in recent weeks or months to the risk from care in a hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, or home-care treatment by a healthcare provider.

The study of distribution and determinants of disease.

Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)
Beta-lactamases are enzymes that destroy certain antibiotics. ESBLs are bacteria that have acquired these enzymes and have become resistant to certain antibiotics.

Georgia Healthcare-Acquired Infections Advisory Committee (GHAIAC)


The Georgia advisory committee charged with making recommendations to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) on the prevention of healthcare associated infections.

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)
An infection that develops during or soon after care in a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office or after care provided by a home care agency.

Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC)
An expert panel in a specific field who advise the CDC on matters of healthcare associated infection, surveillance, control and prevention.

Incidence Rate
The proportion of a population that has a particular condition that began during a given time period the rate covers. It is measured one of three ways: attack rate, incidence density rate, or cumulative incidence risk.

Infection Control Practitioner/Infection Control Professional/Infection Preventionist
A healthcare worker who specializes in infection surveillance, control and prevention.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
An area in the hospital where the most intensive monitoring and advanced support are provided to critically ill patients.

Long Term Acute Care Facility or Hospital (LTAC)
A healthcare facility authorized by the Department of Social and Health Services to specialize in twenty-four hour inpatient medical and rehabilitative care for patients who have medically complex needs. These patients typically are bed-bound, ventilator dependent and require daily assessment by a physician. These facilities are not identical with chronic care, skilled nursing, acute rehabilitation or short-term acute care hospital facilities.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
Staphylococcus aureus that has become resistant to a group of drugs that are commonly given for staphylococcus infections. Not all Staphylococcus aureus is resistant to these drugs. The sensitivity strains are called MSSA.

Multidrug-resistant Organism (MDRO)
Bacteria that have become unusually resistant to many of the drugs that used to be effective against them.

National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)
A voluntary, secure computer system run by CDC for healthcare facilities to share information about their healthcare associated infection rates.

Prevalence Rate
The proportion of a population that has a particular condition at any given time, whether as a new or chronic case.

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)
A voluntary membership organization representing members of this profession who have a medical degree or a graduate degree related to epidemiology.

Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR)
A summary measure used to track HAIs at a national, state, or local level over time. The SIR adjusts for the fact that each healthcare facility treats different types of patients.

Surgical Site Infection (SSI)
An infection that occurs which is related to a surgical wound or the organ spaces near the wound.

A device that pumps air into the lungs of patients that are unable to breathe for themselves.

Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP)
A type of pneumonia (infection of the lungs) that develops after a patient is placed on a ventilator.

Page last updated 12/06/2017