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Introduction: Healthcare-associated infection (HAI) surveillance data can be used to estimate the scope, spread and location of infections, monitor trends, evaluate preventive efforts, and improve practices, policy and facility planning. In Sweden, national point prevalence surveys (PPS) have been conducted twice yearly in all county councils since 2008.

Aim: The aim of this study was to identify key obstacles concerning the HAI surveillance process.

Methods: Twenty-two infection control practitioners (ICPs) from all county councils in Sweden were interviewed, using semi-structured interview guides. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: Sixteen types of obstacles pertaining to four surveillance stages were identified. Most obstacles were associated with the first two stages, which meant that the latter stages of this process, i.e. the use of the results to reduce HAI, were underdeveloped. The ICPs observed scepticism towards both the PPS methodology itself and the quality of the HAI data collected in the PPS, which hinders HAI surveillance realising its full potential in Swedish healthcare.


Ridelberg, M. and Nilsen, P. (2015) Using surveillance data to reduce healthcare–associated infection: a qualitative study in Sweden. Journal of Infection Prevention. 16(5), p.208-214.

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