Infection Prevention and Control Surveillance Profiles

Contact information:  

Health Service Executive – Dublin North East, Ireland

Michael Carton, Regional Quality and Patient Safety, [email protected]


Originally developed by: Regional Quality and Patient Safety Department, Health Service Executive – Dublin North East, Ireland. Michael Carton
Country of origin: Ireland
Year of development: 2012
Last updated: March 2012
Next update: Each time new data is available
Available in the following languages: English

Type of tool: tool for evaluation and feedback

Short description

A surveillance profile was developed which provides an easily interpreted system of metrics that allow an overview of available hospital data relating to the prevention of healthcare associated infections (HCAI) to be reviewed. The profile includes a spine chart summarising a range of Infection Prevention and Control metrics (PDF attached). By providing the information in the format of a spine chart, each hospital is provided with a means of comparing their local data to national data as well as to peer hospitals. This method of presenting information highlights performance at a point in time and identifies areas where good performance may lead to opportunities for learning across the region as well as prompting relevant questions where performance appears to be suboptimal. The surveillance profile is delivered to the system using MS Excel, thereby eliminating any ICT issues such as reliance on specialised software.

Target audience

Hospital managers, infection prevention and control committees, specialist HCAI staff, service monitors

Applicability (setting e.g. inpatient care, outpatient care, long term care etc.)

Hospital inpatient care

Information on how the tool has been applied/tested in practice

This tool has been tested and implemented in all hospitals in the Dublin North East Region in Ireland. It has also been requested for National Implementation i.e. for use in the remaining 3 regions and with the National HCAI/AMR Committee.

Needed resources (financial, material, human)

Apart from the development of the profile which was carried out in-house the only ongoing resource requirements are the availability of data from the national Health Protection Surveillance Centre and access to a staff member who is familiar with Excel. The profiles are updated on a quarterly basis and once the data is available it takes approx. 1 day to complete.

Needed time for implementation

Prior to the launch of the surveillance profiles, a team visited each hospital in the Dublin North East region to get feedback on what should be included in the profiles and how they should be presented.  Surveillance profiles were distributed for the first time in the Dublin North East region in August 2012.  These profiles have since been updated in November 2012 and March 2013.  The surveillance profiles are distributed to all relevant staff including all infection prevention and control staff, RDO, Hospital and Area Managers and the HCAI-AMR committee.

Strengths and limitations

These surveillance profiles have provided a user friendly and easily interpreted method of reviewing current patient safety indicators for individual hospitals.  In the future, the surveillance profile template could also be adapted to present other data relevant to patient safety such as patient experience or clinical effectiveness metrics. This system represents a long term, scalable solution that is compatible with the needs of data providers and consumers, both regionally and nationally and is a valuable tool for improving the quality of care provided to patients.

Additional references

Sample profile attached in a PDF.