Three national surveillance systems for nosocomial infection have been developed independently and implemented successfully in England, Germany, and The Netherlands. All three are based on the American National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System and have adopted a surveillance strategy that is targeted at specific infections or groups of patients for limited time periods. Case-finding methods, the minimum data set, and analysis of data are similar and could be standardized easily. Resolution of the differences in the definitions of infection, the study population, and follow-up should make possible the international comparison of infection rates. Such comparisons may identify differences in healthcare practices between countries and suggest areas for improvement.