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HAI Data and Statistics

HAIs at a Glance

Although significant progress has made in preventing some infection types, there is much more work to be done. On any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection.

CDC publishes yearly reports to help each state better understand their progress and target areas that need assistance.  The data used in these comes from two complementary HAI surveillance systems, the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and the Emerging Infections Program Healthcare-Associated Infections Community-Interface (EIP HAIC).

The year 2015 marked the start of the new five-year (2015-2020) goals of the HAI Action Plan and a time of important updates and improvements for NHSN. This provided an opportunity to assess prevention progress while strategizing about the best way to move forward as a country. The summary of progress and next steps can be found in the Healthcare-associated Infection Data Reports:

CDC’s annual National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report (HAI Progress Report) describes national and state progress in preventing HAIs. Among national acute care hospitals, the most recent report  (2014 data, published 2016) found:

  • 50 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) between 2008 and 2014
  • No change in overall catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) between 2009 and 2014
    • However, there was progress in non-ICU settings between 2009 and 2014, progress in all settings between 2013 and 2014, and even more progress in all settings towards the end of 2014
  • 17 percent decrease in surgical site infections (SSI) related to the 10 select procedures tracked in previous reports
    • 17 percent decrease in abdominal hysterectomy SSI between 2008 and 2014
    • 2 percent decrease in colon surgery SSI between 2008 and 2014
  • 8 percent decrease in hospital-onset Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections between 2011 and 2014
  • 13 percent decrease in hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia (bloodstream infections) between 2011 and 2014

The report also includes a national snapshot of HAIs in long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs).

  • LTACHs: 9 percent decrease in CLABSI and an 11 percent decrease in CAUTI between 2013 and 2014
  • IRFs: 14 percent decrease in CAUTI between 2013 and 2014

In 2014, results of a project known as the HAI Prevalence Survey were published. The Survey described the burden of HAIs in U.S. hospitals, and reported that, in 2011, there were an estimated 722,000 HAIs in U.S. acute care hospitals (see chart below). Additionally, about 75,000 patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations. More than half of all HAIs occurred outside of the intensive care unit.


HAI Estimates Occurring in US Acute Care Hospitals, 2011

Major Site of InfectionEstimated No.
Gastrointestinal Illness123,100
Urinary Tract Infections93,300
Primary Bloodstream Infections71,900
Surgical site infections from any inpatient surgery157,500
Other types of infections118,500
Estimated total number of infections in hospitals 721,800


Steps can be taken to control and prevent HAIs in a variety of settings. Research shows that when healthcare facilities, care teams, and individual doctors and nurses, are aware of infection problems and take specific steps to prevent them, rates of some targeted HAIs (e.g., CLABSI) can decrease by more than 70 percent. Preventing HAIs is possible, but it will take a conscious effort of everyone–clinicians, healthcare facilities and systems, public health, quality improvement groups, and the federal government–working together toward improving care, protecting patients, and saving lives.

HAI Data Sources

HAI data are used to identify problem areas, measure progress of prevention efforts, and ultimately eliminate HAIs. CDC receives data on HAIs through two distinct surveillance programs.