First report on the epidemiology of HAIs

For the first time, Swissnoso is providing an overview of the epidemio-logical situation regarding healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in Switzerland, based on data collected by existing surveillance systems and the experience of hospitals.

According to regularly conducted national surveys, the prevalence of HAIs in Swiss acute care hospitals is between 5.4% and 5.9%, which corresponds to the European average. These surveys have also shown that the proportion of healthcare-associated infections caused by multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) is lower in Switzerland than in neighbouring countries.

Significant long-term reduction in infection rates

In addition to the data collected by Swissnoso since 2017 and the publicly available data, an important source of information is the continuous monitoring of surgical site infections (SSIs). This monitoring, conducted on selected surgical procedures by 178 hospitals, shows a significant long-term reduction in infection rates. Even though this rate appears to be higher than in other countries, the comparison should be treated with caution because of differences in methodology and uncertainties about the validity of the data collected internationally.

Overview of HAI control and prevention activities

The report was written by Swissnoso as part of its consultancy mandate with the FOPH. It gives an overview of the modules developed and made available to hospitals in relation to HAI monitoring and prevention. It also describes pilot studies investigating the parameters that could lead to a potential reduction in healthcare-associated infections, such as the “pro-gress! Urinary catheter safety” pilot programme, designed to reduce the use of urinary catheters in hospitals.

An overview of other activities carried out by Swissnoso in the field of HAI control and prevention completes the report.

Last modification 14.07.2021

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Division of Communicable Diseases
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