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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.
To evaluate a computer-assisted point-prevalence survey (CAPPS) for hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).
A 754-bed teaching hospital in the Netherlands.
For the internal validation of a CAPPS for HAIs, 2,526 patients were included. All patient records were retrospectively reviewed in depth by 2 infection control practitioners (ICPs) to determine which patients had suffered an HAI. Preventie van Ziekenhuisinfecties door Surveillance (PREZIES) criteria were used. Following this internal validation, 13 consecutive CAPPS were performed in a prospective study from January to March 2013 to determine weekly, monthly, and quarterly HAI point prevalence. Finally, a CAPPS was externally validated by PREZIES (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu [RIVM], Bilthoven, Netherlands). In all evaluations, discrepancies were resolved by consensus.
In our series of CAPPS, 83% of the patients were automatically excluded from detailed review by the ICP. The sensitivity of the method was 91%. The time spent per hospital-wide CAPPS was ~3 hours. External validation showed a negative predictive value of 99.1% for CAPPS.
CAPPS proved to be a sensitive, accurate, and efficient method to determine serial weekly point-prevalence HAI rates in our hospital.
The benefit of screening healthcare workers (HCWs) at risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage and furloughing MRSA-positive HCWs to prevent spread to patients is controversial. We evaluated our MRSA program for HCWs between 1992 and 2002.
A university medical center in the Netherlands, where methicillin resistance has been kept below 0.5% of all nosocomial S. aureus infections using active surveillance cultures and isolation of colonized patients.
HCWs caring for MRSA-positive patients or patients in foreign hospitals were screened for MRSA. MRSA-positive HCWs had additional cultures, temporary exclusion from patient-related work, assessment of risk factors for persisting carriage, decolonization therapy with mupirocin intranasally and chlorhexidine baths for skin and hair, and follow-up cultures.
Fifty-nine HCWs were colonized with MRSA. Seven of 840 screened employees contracted MRSA in foreign hospitals; 36 acquired MRSA after contact with MRSA-positive patients despite isolation precautions (attack rate per outbreak varied from less than 1% to 15%). Our hospital experienced 17 MRSA outbreaks, including 13 episodes in which HCWs were involved. HCWs were index cases of at least 4 outbreaks. In 8 outbreaks, HCWs acquired MRSA after caring for MRSA-positive patients despite isolation precautions.
Postexposure screening of HCWs allowed early detection of MRSA carriage and prevention of subsequent transmission to patients. Where the MRSA prevalence is higher, the role of HCWs may be greater. In such settings, an adapted version of our program could help prevent dissemination.
To determine incidence rates of hospital-acquired infections and to develop preventive measures to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections.
Prospective surveillance for hospital-acquired infections was performed during a 5-year period in the wards housing general and vascular, thoracic, orthopedic, and general gynecologic and gynecologic-oncologic surgery of the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. Data were collected from patients with and without infections, using criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The infection control team recorded 648 hospital-acquired infections affecting 550 (14%) of 3,845 patients. The incidence density was 17.8 per 1,000 patient-days. Patients with hospital-acquired infections were hospitalized for 19.8 days versus 7.7 days for patients without hospital-acquired infections.
Prolongation of stay among patients with hospital-acquired infections may have resulted in 664 fewer admissions due to unavailable beds. Different specialties were associated with different infection rates at different sites, requiring a tailor-made approach. Interventions were recommended for respiratory tract infections in the thoracic surgery ward and for surgical-site infections in the orthopedic and gynecologic surgery wards.
Surveillance in four surgical wards showed that each had its own prominent infection, risk factors, and indications for specific recommendations. Because prospective surveillance requires extensive resources, we considered a modified approach based on a half-yearly point-prevalence survey of hospital-acquired infections in all wards of our hospital. Such surveillance can be extended with procedure-specific prospective surveillance when indicated.
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