LOL: Learn Our Lingo!

June 6, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

The Headlines Acronym of the Month is back! This month, Learn Our Lingo (LOL) is focusing on patient safety.

When discussing patient safety, you have likely heard the term “HAC.” The exact definition of HAC can vary, but it refers to any of the following:

  • Health care acquired condition
  • Health care associated condition
  • Hospital acquired condition

Now you know what it stands for, but what constitutes an HAC?

HAC describes an unexpected, preventable event that a patient experiences as a result of their stay in a hospital or their interaction with health care services. For example, if a patient is admitted to the hospital for an elective surgery and develops an infection at the site of the surgical incision, that infection is an HAC — it happened as a result of care.

At Michigan Medicine, the Quality Department reports HACs on a monthly basis as a way to track patient safety in the organization. You can view the department’s Executive Priority Dashboard to see current HAC rates for the organization and to learn more.

Tracking and finding ways to prevent HACs is important not only to help the organization keep patients safe, but also because HACs are monitored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and are used to determine reimbursement rates for services.

Here are some of the most common types of HACs:

  • CAUTI: Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection
  • CLABSI: Central-Line Associated Bloodstream Infection
  • SSI: Surgical Site Infection
  • C. Diff: Clostridium difficile infection (also called C. difficile) — an infection that affects the colon

There are others that do not use abbreviations, including patient falls and pressure ulcers. Click here for a full list, courtesy of CMS.

Now you know your HACs! Are there other acronyms you’ve always wondered about? Let us know and they could be featured in the next LOL!

For a complete list of past acronyms highlighted in Headlines, click here.