Integrating intensive care unit (ICU) surveillance into an ICU clinical care electronic system

hospital_infection_coverby J.S. ReillyJ. McCoubreyS. ColeA. KhanB. Cook

Extract taken from the Journal of Hospital Infection

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.

If you require the full-text article, please contact Ext:1362 to acquire via inter-library loan. A small charge may be incurred.


Improving Patient Safety Conference: November 2012

Click for details

‘This government has one overriding goal for the NHS – for it to produce outcomes that are among the best in the world. Simple to say – hard to deliver – impossible without an absolute commitment to patient safety.’

– Rt Hon Simon Burns MP, Minister for Patient Safety, Department of Health

In the 12 months leading up to September 2011, the National Patient Safety Agency recorded over 1.3 million patient safety incidents in England and Wales. It is estimated that the cost of patient safety incidents cost over £2bn a year, with a further £1bn being spent on healthcare associated infections (HCAI). With these figures in mind, we are proud to present the Reducing HCAIs and Improving Patient Safety Conference 2012, a forum for key stakeholders and practitioners to come together to discuss best practice in improving clinical outcomes through better, more through, patient care, stronger regulation in secondary care and improved use of new technologies to manage patient care and flow.

A limited number of free places available on first come first served basis.

A key pathway to ensuring that patient safety incidences are kept to a minimum is through the use of new, cutting edge, technologies. Technology in patient safety has proven to reduce errors in operating theatres, increased reporting of incidences on hospital wards and the key enabler to drive efficiency to reduce the £3bn cost associated with patient safety and healthcare associated infections.

Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) Surveillance computer system


A new web based Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) Surveillance computer system is being developed which will replace the existing MESS system used to collect the patient level mandatory surveillance data on MRSA, MSSA and E. coli bloodstream infections, and C.difficile infections. Expected to go live in April 2013, the new computer system will be faster and have new features which will give users improved facilities to input and manipulate the data more easily. It will also allow users to produce customised tabulated and graphical reports of local, regional and national HCAI data.

Read more of this letter at dh_134577.pdf (application/pdf).

Infection prevention and control by e-learning aids medical students: publication in process

J Hosp Infect. 2011 Dec;79(4):368-70. Epub 2011 Sep 25.

Use of e-learning to enhance medical students’ understanding and knowledge of healthcare associated infection prevention and control.


Department of Clinical Microbiology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.


An online infection prevention and control programme for medical students was developed and assessed. There was a statistically significant improvement (P<0.0001) in the knowledge base among 517 students after completing two modules. The majority of students who completed the evaluation were positive about the learning experience.

Copyright © 2011 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed – in process]

News from The Kings Fund: 11 November

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)

Prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) quality improvement guide

The guide offers advice on management or organisational actions to prevent and control HCAIs in secondary care settings. It is aimed at board members working in (or with) secondary care. It may also be of use to senior managers, those working elsewhere in the NHS, as well as those working in local authorities and the wider public, private, voluntary and community sectors.