Surveillance of healthcare-associated infections in intensive care units

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The incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the public health sector in South Africa is not known due to the lack of a surveillance system. We report on the challenges experienced in the implementation of a surveillance system for HAIs in intensive care units (ICUs)” Mahomed et al (2017).

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: The incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the public health sector in South Africa is not known due to the lack of a surveillance system. We report on the challenges experienced in the implementation of a surveillance system for HAIs in intensive care units (ICUs).

METHODS: A passive, paper-based surveillance system was piloted in eight ICUs to measure the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter-associated urinary tract infection, and central line-associated bloodstream infection. Extensive consultation with the ICU clinical and nursing managers informed the development of the surveillance system. The Plan-Do-Study-Act method was utilized to guide the implementation of the surveillance.

RESULTS: The intended outputs of the surveillance system were not fully realized due to incomplete data. The organizational culture did not promote the collection of surveillance data. Nurses felt that the surveillance form added to their workload, and the infection control practitioners were unable to adequately supervise the process due to competing work demands.

CONCLUSIONS: A manual system that adds to the administrative workload of nurses is not an effective method of measuring the burden of HAIs. Change management is required to promote an organizational culture that supports accurate data collection for HAIs.

Full Text

Reference:

Mahomed, S., Mahomed, O., Sturm, A.W., Knight, S. and Moodley, P. (2017) Challenges with Surveillance of Healthcare-Associated Infections in Intensive Care Units in South Africa. Critical Care Research and Practice. October 12th. [epub ahead of print].

doi: 10.1155/2017/7296317.

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