Issue Background

Using Data to Prevent HAIs

Background and current state of HAI surveillance

Most organizations perform an annual risk assessment. The risk assessment allows organizations to target surveillance activities based on the needs of the population they serve as well as external regulatory requirements. A manual review of computerized microbiology reports, coupled with other laboratory and patient care information extracted from a variety of sources, both electronic and non-electronic, has historically been the primary method of finding HAIs.

In many cases, HAI data needs to be entered into electronic surveillance systems manually, a practice that can take hours each day. Time spent on manual data entry takes resources away from other important initiatives intended to improve patient safety and outcomes at the bedside hence automation can alleviate some of this burden hence automation can alleviate some of this burden. 

What is infection prevention surveillance?
In the healthcare arena, infection prevention surveillance is a comprehensive method of measuring and analyzing data. Various healthcare quality outcomes, quality processes, and data are analyzed to provide information to members of the healthcare team to assist in preventing infections while improving outcomes and processes. In short, infection prevention surveillance is used to track and monitor systems within healthcare in order to prevent infections and keep patients well.

Why standardized data collection is important?

  • it is important to know the accurate number and type of infections so comparisons over time are meaningful;
  • such information is useful only when it is believable, actionable and reliably used to decrease the number of patient infections by informing prevention efforts;
  • it provides a platform for comparing facilities and accurately reporting data to the public.