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To describe how continuous validation of data on surgical site infection (SSI) is being performed in the Dutch National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance System (Preventie Ziekenhuisinfecties door Surveillance [PREZIES]), to assess the quality and accuracy of the PREZIES data, and to present the corresponding outcomes of the assessment.
Mandatory, 1-day on-site validation visit to participating hospitals every 3 years. The process of surveillance, including the quality of the method of data collection, is validated by means of a structured interview. The use of SSI criteria is validated by review of medical records, with the judgment of the validation team as the criterion standard.
Hospitals participating in PREZIES.
During 1999-2004, the validation team visited 40 hospitals and reviewed 859 medical charts. There was no deviation between reports of SSI by infection control professionals and findings by the PREZIES validation team at 30 hospitals and 1 deviation in each of 10 hospitals; the positive predictive value was 0.97, and the negative predictive value was 0.99. The validation team often gave advice to the hospital, aimed at perfecting the process of surveillance. On 2 occasions, data were removed from the PREZIES database after the validation visit revealed deviations from the SSI surveillance protocol that could have resulted in nonrepresentative SSI rate data.
PREZIES is confident that the assembled Dutch SSI surveillance data are reliable and robust and are sufficiently accurate to be used as a reference for interhospital comparison. PREZIES will continue performing on-site validation visits, to improve the process of surveillance and ensure the reliability of the surveillance data.
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