The role of surveillance in preventing healthcare-associated infections

This learning module has been accredited by the Royal College of Nursing and was last updated in 2016.

All modules are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Duration: 01:00:00 Type: CPD modules Level: Qualified Nurses


Brett G Mitchell, Professor of nursing, Avondale College for Higher Education, Wahroonga, Australia.
Philip L Russo, Associate professor of nursing, Monash University and Cabrini Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Short description

Many healthcare-associated infections are preventable. Learn about the purpose of surveillance, key epidemiological terms and different approaches to surveillance.

Detailed description

Surveillance of healthcare-associated infections is central to healthcare epidemiology and infection control programmes and a critical factor in the prevention of these infections. By definition, the term 'infection prevention' implies that healthcare-associated infections may be preventable. The purpose of surveillance is to provide quality data that can be used in an effective monitoring and alert system and to reduce the incidence of preventable healthcare-associated infections. This learning module examines the purpose of surveillance, explains key epidemiological terms, provides an overview of approaches to surveillance and discusses the importance of validation.