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How to Survey Nosocomial Infections

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Petra Gastmeier*
Affiliation:
Institute of Hygiene, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Dorit Sohr
Affiliation:
Institute of Hygiene, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Heinz-Michael Just
Affiliation:
Institute for Medical Microbiology and Clinical Epidemiology, Hospital Nürnberg, Berlin, Germany
Alfred Nassauer
Affiliation:
Robert Koch-Institute, Berlin, Germany
Franz Daschner
Affiliation:
Institute of Environmental Medicine and Hospital Hygiene, Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany
Henning Rüden
Affiliation:
Institute of Hygiene, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
*
Institute of Hygiene, Free University Berlin, Heubnerweg 6–Haus II, 14059 Berlin, Germany

Abstract

Many surveillance methods for nosocomial infections (NIs) have been put forward in the literature, and all have their advantages and disadvantages. Different surveillance methods are useful, depending on whether the objective of surveillance is only to increase sensitivity to infection control problems and to identify areas with possible infection control problems; to confirm a possible infection control problem through comparison with other units or departments; or to use surveillance data for identifying the sources of infections. Furthermore, time effectiveness is a major point in selecting the most appropriate method, particularly the method for case identification. In units or departments with a high level of NI, even highly time-consuming surveillance methods may be ultimately time-effective; in units or departments with a lower level of NI, the time-effectiveness depends on the time necessary for case identification. Close liaison with staff in the units is a sine qua non for the success of all surveillance activities

Type
Reviews
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2000

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