The next frontier of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) surveillance metrics: Beyond device-associated infections

In recent years, it has become increasingly evident that surveillance metrics for invasive device-associated infections (ie, central-line-associated bloodstream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonias, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections) do not capture all harms; they capture only a subset of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Although prevention of device-associated infections remains critical, there is a need to address the full spectrum of potential harms from device use and non-device-associated infections. These include complications associated with additional devices, such as peripheral venous and arterial catheters, non-device-associated infections such as nonventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia, and noninfectious device complications such as trauma, thrombosis, and acute lung injury. As authors of the device-associated infection sections in the SHEA/IDSA/APIC Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals, the team highlights catheter-associated urinary tract infection as an example of the strengths and limitations of the current emphasis on device-associated infection surveillance, suggest performance metrics that present a more comprehensive picture of patient harm, and provide a high-level overview of similar issues with other infection surveillance measures.

The full article, with DICON physician Dr. Sonali Advani as the lead author, was published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.