The intensive care unit (ICU) is the specialty with the highest prevalence of healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) in European hospitals and therefore a priority for surveillance of HCAI. Whereas surveillance is an essential part of an effective infection prevention and control (IPC) programme, all too often it consumes too much clinician and IPC team time, limiting the time available for quality improvement. The case for electronic surveillance is made in the literature from several countries on this basis. These studies indicate that electronic surveillance can improve validity, reduce time spent on surveillance, and provide opportunities for improvement in clinical decision-making and IPC action arising from surveillance.
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