Scientific article
Open access

Automated surveillance systems for healthcare-associated infections: results from a European survey and experiences from real-life utilization

Published inThe Journal of hospital infection, vol. 122, p. 35-43
Publication date2022-04
First online date2022-01-12

Background: As most automated surveillance (AS) methods to detect healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) have been developed and implemented in research settings, information about the feasibility of large-scale implementation is scarce.

Aim: To describe key aspects of the design of AS systems and implementation in European institutions and hospitals.

Methods: An online survey was distributed via e-mail in February/March 2019 among (i) PRAISE (Providing a Roadmap for Automated Infection Surveillance in Europe) network members; (ii) corresponding authors of peer-reviewed European publications on existing AS systems; and (iii) the mailing list of national infection prevention and control focal points of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Three AS systems from the survey were selected, based on quintessential features, for in-depth review focusing on implementation in practice.

Findings: Through the survey and the review of three selected AS systems, notable differences regarding the methods, algorithms, data sources, and targeted HAIs were identified. The majority of AS systems used a classification algorithm for semi-automated surveillance and targeted HAIs were mostly surgical site infections, urinary tract infections, sepsis, or other bloodstream infections. AS systems yielded a reduction of workload for hospital staff. Principal barriers of implementation were strict data security regulations as well as creating and maintaining an information technology infrastructure.

Conclusion: AS in Europe is characterized by heterogeneity in methods and surveillance targets. To allow for comparisons and encourage homogenization, future publications on AS systems should provide detailed information on source data, methods, and the state of implementation.

  • Automation
  • Healthcare-associated infection
  • Surveillance
Citation (ISO format)
VERBERK, J.d.m. et al. Automated surveillance systems for healthcare-associated infections: results from a European survey and experiences from real-life utilization. In: The Journal of hospital infection, 2022, vol. 122, p. 35–43. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2021.12.021
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ISSN of the journal0195-6701

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