NHSN May Be Superior Method of Measuring Healthcare-Associated Infections

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Traditional surveillance using the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network methodology may be the superior method of measuring and reporting healthcare-associated infections, compared two to other methods, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.


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For the study, researchers compared three methods of identifying and reporting catheter-associated bloodstream infection, catheter-associated urinary tract infection and ventilator-associated pneumonia: the NHSN methodology, data mining with MedMined Data Mining Surveillance and administrative coding with ICD-9-CM. The data collecting occurred in eight intensive care units in 2009.

Researchers found a total of 65 bloodstream infections, 28 urinary tract infections and 48 pneumonia infections. Surveillance through NHSN detected 58 bloodstream infections, 27 urinary tract infections and 41 pneumonia infections. Surveillance through NHSN also revealed better sensitivity and rate estimation.

Meanwhile, the other two methodologies detected fewer infections for all three types and had more false positives. The researchers concluded use of the NSHN may be the most accurate approach to reporting healthcare-associated infections.

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