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Surveillance of healthcare-associated infections is often performed by manual chart review. Semiautomated surveillance may substantially reduce workload and subjective data interpretation. We assessed the validity of a previously published algorithm for semiautomated surveillance of deep surgical site infections (SSIs) after total hip arthroplasty (THA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in Dutch hospitals. In addition, we explored the ability of a hospital to automatically select the patients under surveillance.
Multicenter retrospective cohort study.
Hospitals identified patients who underwent THA or TKA either by procedure codes or by conventional surveillance. For these patients, routine care data regarding microbiology results, antibiotics, (re)admissions, and surgeries within 120 days following THA or TKA were extracted from electronic health records. Patient selection was compared with conventional surveillance and patients were retrospectively classified as low or high probability of having developed deep SSI by the algorithm. Sensitivity, positive predictive value (PPV), and workload reduction were calculated and compared to conventional surveillance.
Of 9,554 extracted THA and TKA surgeries, 1,175 (12.3%) were revisions, and 8,378 primary surgeries remained for algorithm validation (95 deep SSIs, 1.1%). Sensitivity ranged from 93.6% to 100% and PPV ranged from 55.8% to 72.2%. Workload was reduced by ≥98%. Also, 2 SSIs (2.1%) missed by the algorithm were explained by flaws in data selection.
This algorithm reliably detects patients with a high probability of having developed deep SSI after THA or TKA in Dutch hospitals. Our results provide essential information for successful implementation of semiautomated surveillance for deep SSIs after THA or TKA.
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