Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HACs) are 28 specific conditions that are not present on admission but are instead “acquired” during a stay. Essentially, HACs are conditions that a patient develops while being treated for something else by a provider. Examples of HACs include largely preventable conditions, including falls, pressure ulcers, adverse drug events and serious infections, such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line associated bloodstream infections and surgical site infections, among others. HACs are focused on because they occur frequently, are costly in terms of expense and morbidity and mortality and as the data shows, are largely preventable.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ produces “The National Scorecard on Rates of Hospital-Acquired Conditions”. This report is updated annually and the most recent results demonstrable progress over a five-year period to improve patient safety in hospitals at a national level. The recent data showed that approximately 87,000 fewer patients may have died due to HACs and $20 billion in related health care costs were saved between 2010 to 2014.
HACs should be monitored at the individual HCP and HCO level to inform providers about their operations and where additional education and training efforts should be focused.