To report the pooled results of seven prevalence surveys of hospital-acquired infections conducted between November 1996 and November 1999, and to use the data to predict the cumulative incidence of hospital-acquired infections in the same patient group.
The summary and modeling of data gathered from the routine surveillance of the point prevalence of hospital-acquired infections.
Auckland District Health Board Hospitals (Auckland DHBH), the largest publicly funded hospital group in New Zealand supplying secondary and tertiary services.
Point-prevalence surveys were conducted including all patients in Auckland DHBH. Standard definitions of hospital-acquired infection were used. The data from the seven surveys were pooled and used in a modeling exercise to predict the cumulative incidence of hospital-acquired infection. An existing method for the conversion of prevalence to cumulative incidence was applied. Results are presented for all patients and stratified by clinical service and site of hospital-acquired infection.
The underlying patterns of hospital-acquired infection by site and service were stable during the seven time periods. The prevalence rate for all patients was 9.5%, with 553 patients identified with one or more hospital-acquired infections from a population of 5,819. The predicted cumulative incidence for all patients was 6.33% (95% confidence interval, 6.20% to 6.46%).
The prevalence and the predicted cumulative incidence are similar to rates reported in the international literature. The validity of the predicted cumulative incidence derived here is not known. If it were accurate, then the application of this method would represent a cost-effective alternative to incidence studies.