Admitted patient safety and quality

The quality of care provided to patients admitted to hospitals can be measured in several ways. One way is to use data from hospitals to measure rates of:

  • Staphylococcus aureus (‘golden staph’) bloodstream infections (SABSI)
  • Hand hygiene compliance
  • Hospital-acquired complications and adverse events
  • Potentially preventable hospitalisations (PPHs).

Another way is to survey people about their experiences as hospital patients. Information gathered through hospital data and patient surveys does not cover all aspects of hospital safety and quality. Certain aspects of safety and quality—continuity of care and responsiveness of hospital services—are difficult to measure and are not included here.

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What is SABSI?

Staphylococcus aureus (also known as golden staph or S. aureus) is a usually harmless bacteria commonly found inside the nose and on the skin. However, if the bacteria enters the bloodstream a Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection (SABSI) can occur.

Contracting SABSI can be life-threatening and hospitals aim to minimise cases by implementing infection prevention and control policies, including good hygiene practices. Surveillance and reporting of healthcare-associated SABSI rates in hospitals helps to improve patient safety.

Types of SABSI

The two types of SABSI reported on are:

  • methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) – which can be treated with commonly used antibiotics, and
  • methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which resists treatment by many types of antibiotics, and is associated with poorer patient outcomes.

Data on healthcare associated infections associated with hospital care are presented in the following data visualisation and summarised in the sections below. The data presented are for the latest year for which national data are available, and over time.

Healthcare-associated infections 

All data in these visualisations are available for download in the Data & downloads section of the MyHospitals website.

This data visualisation contains 4 tabs: 

1. Column graph showing number and rate of SABSI in public hospitals for 2022–23

2. Line graph showing number and rate of SABSI in public hospitals over time from 2015–16 to 2022–23.

3. Table showing SABSI number and rates by hospital between 2010–11 and 2022–23. Data is able to be filtered by type of SABSI, public/private sector, hospital peer group.

4. Data notes.