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2007 Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Policy
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Nosocomial (Hospital Acquired) Infection Surveillance

Page updated 30 April 2007

Nosocomial (Hospital-Acquired) Infection Surveillance

Key Points

Know the Methods of Surveillance

Know the Alert Organisms

Know the Alert Conditions


The main objectives of surveillance of hospital-acquired infections are:

Surveillance is part of the routine infection control programme. It helps to identify risks of infection and reinforces the need for good practices. Preventing outbreaks depends on prompt recognition of one or more infections with alert organisms and instituting special control measures to reduce the risk of spread of the organism. Collection of accurate data allows comparison with other units and measurement of response to changes in practice (audit).


Laboratory-based Ward Liason Surveillance (Alert Organisms)

Click here for examples of alert organisms...

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Ward-based Surveillance (Alert Conditions)

Click here for examples of ward-based alert conditions...

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Hospital Infection Control. Guidance on the Control of Infection in Hospitals. Prepared by the hospital infection-working group of the Department of Health and Public Health Laboratory Service. 1995 Department of Health, London.

Comptroller and Auditor General. The Management and Control of Hospital Acquired Infection in Acute NHS Trusts in England . 2000 National Audit Office, London.

Glenister HM, Taylor LJ, Cooke EM, Bartlett CLR. A Study of Surveillance Methods for Detecting Hospital Infection. 1992 Public Health Laboratory Service, London.

Nosocomial Infection National Surveillance Scheme. Protocol for Surveillance of Surgical Site Infection. Version 2 1998 Public Health Laboratory Service, London.

Glynn A, Ward V, Wilson J, et al. Hospital-acquired infection: surveillance policies and practice. 1997. PHLS, London.

Glenister HM. Surveillance. Selective surveillance methods for detecting hospital infections. 1991 PHLS, London.