The Scottish Surveillance of Healthcare Associated Infection Programme (SSHAIP) team at Health Protection Scotland (HPS), the Scottish Intensive Care Audit Group (SICSAG) and the Scottish Adult Critical Care Pharmacists Network have collaborated to develop a system for surveillance of Intensive Care Unit Associated Infections (ICUAI). It was agreed that ICUAI surveillance data should be collected through the existing SICSAG Ward Watcher audit system currently in place in throughout Scotland. In consultation with Consultants in Intensive Care Medicine, Microbiologists and infection control staff it was agreed that the case definitions, data definitions and data set for surveillance would be those specified by the Hospitals in Europe Link for Infection Control through Surveillance (HELICS) protocol for Surveillance of Nosocomial Infections in Intensive Care Units.).
The objectives of surveillance of ICU associated infections
Unit and hospital level:
- To monitor infection rates in a unit over time by providing relevant information to monitor and target infection control policies.
- Scottish/National level:
- To provide the intensive care units with the necessary reference data to make comparisons of risk adjusted rates between hospitals.
- To inform on epidemiological trends over time and to identify important pathogens and the epidemiology of emerging infections and antimicrobial resistance
- To identify risk factors of ICUAI.
- EU (HELICS) level:
- In the future, it is anticipated that the data collected from surveillance of ICU associated infections in Scotland will form part of the HELICS dataset.
Aims of the pilot study
- To evaluate the overall feasibility of carrying out surveillance of ICUAI in Scotland and to assist with the development of the programme for surveillance of ICUAI before rolling out to other volunteer sites within Scotland.
- To evaluate Ward Watcher as a tool for collecting ICUAI surveillance data in the ICU.
- To evaluate the applicability of the HELICS methodology for surveillance of ICUAI in Scotland.
- To evaluate the feasibility of accessing Defined Daily Dose data for antibiotics supplied by hospital pharmacies to all ICUs throughout Scotland.