The next national infection prevention and control project, what should it be? Surveillance

Philip L Russo1,2,3,4, Allen Cheng5,6, Brett G Mitchell4, Lisa Hall2


1 Deakin/Alfred Health Nursing Centre for Research, Deakin University, VIC

2 Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation, School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology QLD

3 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University QLD

4 Faculty of Arts, Nursing and Theology; Lifestyle Research Centre, Avondale College of Higher Education, NSW

5 Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University VIC

6 Infection Prevention and Healthcare Epidemiology Unit, Alfred Health VIC


HAI surveillance is one of the most common and resource intensive tasks performed by infection prevention professionals, yet research indicates that best practice isn’t always followed, and data is not always reported to those who need to know. Australia does not have a national healthcare associated infection (HAI) surveillance program. Without national surveillance, we do not understand the burden of HAIs, nor can we accurately assess the influence of national infection prevention initiatives. Recent research has demonstrated disparity between existing HAI surveillance activity, whilst also identifying broad key stakeholder support for the establishment of a national program. A uniform surveillance program will also address growing concerns about hospital performance measurements, and enable better public reporting of hospital data.

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