Results of the National healthcare associated infection point prevalence study (CHAINS)

On behalf of everybody involved in this exciting study, I am delighted to share the main outcomes that have now been published in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control. We specifically targeted this journal given its significant international status, and importantly all articles are open access. This means that it is available to everybody all the time, and also allows for a pdf download.

Some key points on the study:

  • First national study of its type in Australia for over 30 years
  • Identified that 1 in 10 adult acute inpatients has an infection as a result of their healthcare
  • Most common infections were those following surgery, urinary tract infections and pneumoniaI
  • Identified many infections that hospitals would not normally be detected in routine surveillance processes
  • 1 in 10 patients were being managed for a multi-drug resistant organism
  • Australia is one of the few OECD countries that does not have a national surveillance program
  • Data was collected from19 large hospitals across the country over four months in 2018

A major strength of the study is the use of the same trained data collectors across all sites. This ensured consistency in the application of definitions and datas collection, and also negated any subjective influences if it were data from hospital-based collectors. This is a critical difference to other international PPS and adds reliability to our study.

Importantly, we did not include smaller or specialty hospitals, private hospitals and excluded all patients under 18. Future studies should be funded to all patients across all sites.

This is the first time in 34 years we have had an estimate of HAI prevalence across Australia. In the absence of a national HAI surveillance program, we suggest data from repeated national HAI PPS in all facilities could be used to inform and drive national prevention initiatives.

To read more about the findings, we have written an article in The Conversation, and access to the journal article is here. See highlights from the study in our brief animation below.

Again, a sincere thank you to the infection prevention teams from the participating sites, your support and cooperation was crucial to the success of this study.

We will discuss implications and other outcomes from the study in future blogs

Sincere thanks to the wonderful dedicated infection prevention teams from each of the participating sites for their cooperation and hospitality.

  • Alfred Hospital, Vic
  • Bendigo Health, Vic
  • Calvary Hospital, ACT
  • Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA
  • Frankston Hospital, Vic
  • Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD
  • Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital, NSW
  • Launceston General Hospital, Tas
  • North West Regional Hospital, Tas
  • Redcliffe Hospital, QLD
  • Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD
  • Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW
  • The Prince of Wales Hospital, NSW
  • The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, SA
  • The Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA
  • Westmead Hospital, NSW

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the work of the CHAINS Project Manager, Bridey Saultry, Research Assistants Ms Stephanie Curtis and Ms Sophie Robinson, Infection Prevention teams, site investigators and key stakeholders at the participating hospitals. The Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research, Deakin University, for supporting and administering the project. We also acknowledge Kalisvar Marimuthu, Professor Jacqui Reilly and Professor Jennie Wilson for expert advice and guidance in the planning stages of this project

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