What’s possible: The users’ perspective on the validation of healthcare associated infection (HAI) and antimicrobial use (AMU) data?

Lesley Price, Jacqui Reilly, Jon Godwin, Shona Cairns, Billy Malcolm, Susan Hopkins, Barry Cookson, Gareth Hughes, Outi Lyytikainen, Bruno Coignard, Sonya Hansen, Carl Suetens

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The validity of approaches to HAI surveillance is usually assessed statistically. However, good science alone is insufficient to ensure robust data. The methodology has to be acceptable to data collectors and to ensure appropriate implementation it must be feasible.
To explore the views of data collectors on the feasibility of approaches used in a pilot validation study of a point prevalence survey of HAI and AMU.
40 data collectors from 10 European countries completed an online survey. The questionnaire followed a debriefing structure using a mixture of forced and free text responses to identify what had gone well and what could be improved on. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and content
AMU data were thought to be the easiest to collect. 64% of participants considered AMU data easy to collect compared to 50% for denominator and 13%
for HAI data. 83% thought there were no incentives for reporting HAI and 82% that engagement of staff was high. Concerns were raised about the risk of underreporting of HAI and suggestions for improvements included comments on training of data collectors, essential variables for inclusion and clarification of case definitions.
Lessons learnt for future validation studies are: to take account of underreporting sensitivity as well as specificity should be assessed and; to maximise efficiency the number of variable collected, case definition used and training given should all be optimised
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • HAI surveillance
  • data collection methods
  • antimicrobial use


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