Point prevalence survey in hospitals

In 2022, with support from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), Swissnoso carried out the second national point prevalence survey (PPS). 108 hospitals participated, representing 80% of all acute care beds in Switzerland. The survey indicated that 5.9% of patients were affected by a healthcare-associated infection; this was the same as that recorded in the first PPS (2017).

The number of hospitals participating in the PPS was higher than in 2017 (108 vs 96). This is particularly satisfying given the pressures arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. Each hospital collected data on healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial use on a single day between April and June 2022. Altogether around 14,000 patients were studied.

The survey covered the type and severity of infections, and the type and dosage of antibiotics used. In addition, data on infection prevention and control activities was collected for the first time, using a WHO checklist adapted for Switzerland.

Switzerland in middle ranking among European countries

When comparing Swiss data with European data, Switzerland ranks in a middle position. The last European survey, conducted in 2017, found a prevalence of 6%. More recent data from the EU is expected to be available at the end of 2023. As the Swiss survey was carried out according to the PPS protocol of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the data is directly comparable with that collected in other European countries.

Regular point prevalence surveys help to generate robust and representative data at the national level. This facilitates the monitoring of avoidable infections at Swiss hospitals and the identification of possible approaches to improve the situation. The PPS also provides information on the progress made by hospitals in implementing the minimum structural requirements for HAI prevention and control, thus supporting implementation efforts.

Tools available for hospitals interested in 2023 survey

Between the national surveys, Swissnoso makes various tools available to hospitals interested in annual data collection, including database access, training materials and the survey protocol. These will also be available in 2023.

Last modification 26.11.2023

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Division of Communicable Diseases
Infection Control and Control Measures Section
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