SAB is an indicator of the safety and quality of hospital care

In 2008, Australian health ministers endorsed the reporting of data on SAB cases occurring in public hospitals by states and territories as part of performance reporting under the National Healthcare Agreement (NHA).

The NHA sets out objectives for state and territory governments for health care services. A performance benchmark for healthcare-associated SAB in public hospitals is included for the outcome area Australians receive appropriate high quality and affordable hospitals and hospital-related care:

It includes a performance benchmark for public healthcare-associated SAB of no more than 2.0 cases per 10,000 days of patient care under surveillance (‘patient days’) for acute care public hospitals by 2011–12 in each state and territory. While the NHA performance benchmark is not mandatory for private hospitals, it has also been applied to private hospital SAB data referred to within this report.

Data from the NSABDC have shown that the rate of SAB (both MSSA and MRSA) bloodstream infections has been fewer than 2.0 cases per 10,000 patient days for public hospitals in each state and territory every year since rates were first published in 2010–11.

Appendix B provides a more detailed description of the NHA performance indicator relating to SAB.