Is it time for pan-European surveillance of healthcare-related infections?

Abstract number: S355

Gastmeier P.

International comparisons yield interesting insights regarding quality of care, beyond the field of healthcare associated infection (HAI) prevention. Therefore, the exchange of experiences of national surveillance systems should be encouraged. However, the interpretation of differences of HAI rates should be made very carefully. Differences in healthcare systems, legal and cultural aspects, as well as differences in the methods of the surveillance systems, may have an enormous influence. A further most crucial aspect of surveillance data is their validity, and its evaluation is very difficult.

The European Centre for disease prevention and control has to decide in the future which level of European surveillance of HAI should be achieved. Of course there are several options:

1The harmonisation process of the individual national surveillance networks should be continued to finally achieve a uniform European HAI surveillance system. This process already started with HELICS (Hospitals in Europe Link for Infection Control through Surveillance; since 1994) and was continued with IPSE activities (Improving patient safety in Europe, since 2005) for surveillance of surgical site infections and HAI surveillance in Intensive care units.

2The harmonisation process should be stopped because it is not really feasible to create a useful European database, and the efforts should be concentrated on a regular exchange of experience between the national networks, on the organisation of validation studies, joint risk factor studies etc.

3ECDC should create a pan-European surveillance for infections with minor problems in identification and application of the definitions, e.g. nosocomial CDAD/1000 patient days or nosocomial laboratory confirmed BSI per 1000 patient days (adjusted according to the frequency of diagnostics).

4ECDC should start pan-European surveillance with a totally new European surveillance system with interesting patient groups at risk and without existing systems for these patient groups in most of the countries in order not to create problems due to the need for modification of the existing systems (e.g. bone marrow transplant patients, very low birth weight newborn etc.).

The talk will discuss advantages and disadvantages of the different strategies in order to stimulate further discussion.

Session Details

Date: 19/04/2008
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 18th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Presentation type:
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