Use of surveillance data for prevention of healthcare-associated infection: risk adjustment and reporting dilemmas.
AffiliationDepartment of Clinical Microbiology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.
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CitationUse of surveillance data for prevention of healthcare-associated infection: risk adjustment and reporting dilemmas. 2009, 22 (4):359-63 Curr. Opin. Infect. Dis.
JournalCurrent opinion in infectious diseases
AbstractHealthcare-associated or nosocomial infection (HCAI) is of increasing importance to healthcare providers and the public. Surveillance is crucial but must be adjusted for risk, especially when used for interhospital comparisons or for public reporting.
Surveillance data are increasingly adjusted for risk factors for HCAI if meaningful comparisons are made between institutions or across national boundaries. Postdischarge surveillance is important in detecting those infections that may not present to the institution in which the original procedure occurred. Caution is urged when comparing data from two sources, for example, an active surveillance program and administrative datasets. The public reporting of HCAI rates can assist in improving the quality of healthcare, but to date there is little evidence that this is happening. In the United States, a number of states have introduced mandatory reporting of HCAIs, but there is considerable variation in what data are released, how these are reported and the rigor of the validation of the dataset.
The consumerization of healthcare requires a response from healthcare providers to engage with the public on how, when and what risk-adjusted surveillance data to release. Information campaigns are required to ensure the public understand any publicly released data and its limitations.