Houston Health Department

Healthcare-Associated Infections Program (HAI)

The Houston Health Department's Healthcare-Associated Infections program (HAI) builds upon public health strategies in the area of infection control, antibiotic stewardship, and reducing person-to-person spread through surveillance, investigation, and education. Activities are funded by the CDC Epidemiology and Laboratory grant that focuses on strengthening local and state capacities of which Houston was one of five cities.

Example activities include:

  • Annual antimicrobial stewardship symposiums bringing together approximately 200 healthcare professionals from across Houston and the surrounding communities to address the antibiotic resistance challenge.
  • Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Clostridium difficile surveillance — This collaboration with University of Houston utilizes UH expert faculty, established lab protocols, and network of participating facilities to track the spread of CRE and C. difficile organisms.
  • Houston Health Department Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network (ARLN) — collects Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), Carbapenem-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPa), and Carbapenem Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAb) isolates for confirmation and characterization. This process is instrumental for the City of Houston to better understand and track trends in these highly resistant organisms.
  • Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) Program — onsite assessments for healthcare facilities which are designed to provide an opportunity to collaborate, share best practices, and identify gaps in infection control.