HAI Surveillance is the practice of monitoring and reporting HAI incidents. Surveillance allows health service organisations to evaluate current practice, observe outcomes, deliver feedback to staff and implement HAI prevention strategies as required. The aim is to improve clinical practice and consequently, patient outcomes (VICNISS 2020; ACSQHC 2019).
Using infection rate data, organisations can assess the effectiveness of any strategies they have implemented. Once data has been collected, it can be delivered to the appropriate personnel and used to inform the development of future policies, procedures and protocols (VICNISS 2020; ACSQHC 2019).
Surveillance can help organisations determine:
Whether there is an infection issue;
The extent of the issue; and
The factors that are contributing to the issue.
The importance of HAI surveillance can be summarised by these three key points:
Clients have the right to expect the same quality of care from any organisation, regardless of its size or location. Therefore, if there are certain organisations with a greater prevalence of HAIs, this issue must be identified and addressed.
Health service organisations have an obligation to make informed and appropriate decisions. Using data, organisations can determine where they need to direct their resources.
Surveillance can help organisations identify successful infection-prevention interventions.
(Russo et. al 2018)
HAI Surveillance in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards