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Infection Prevention

UPMC’s Infection Prevention and Control Program follows evidence-based practices to prevent health care-associated infections (HAIs).

What Are Health Care-Associated Infections?

HAIs are infections that happen amid treatment at a health care clinic. They can get into your:

  • Bloodstream.
  • Digestive tract.
  • Lungs.
  • Skin.
  • Urinary tract.

HAIs can make you very sick. These infections are also very hard to treat and can stay with you for a long time. In the worst cases, HAIs can lead to death.

Hospitals use a standardized infection ratio (SIR) to monitor their HAIs. This happens as follows:

  • The SIR compares a hospital’s number of infections with an expected number of infections. It does this after taking into account factors such as hospital size and type of care involved.
  • Hospitals with a SIR of less than 1 have fewer infections than expected. Hospitals with a SIR of greater than 1 have more infections than expected.
  • SIR numbers aren't always exact and may rise and fall. This is especially true for smaller hospitals.
  • Sometimes, the SIR won't come up if the number of people observed in the monitored time is too low to calculate a value.

Learn more about UPMC’s efforts to prevent HAIs here:

What Steps You Can Take

Stopping the spread of germs and infections is the goal of UPMC’s Infection Prevention and Control Program.

Here are some crucial steps you and your visitors can take to help.