Collection and timely feedback of process and outcome surveillance is one of the most challenging tasks faced by the infection prevention and control (IPC) team. The aim of a project undertaken by Wallace and Damani (2013) was to develop a system to ensure timely communication of surveillance information to both clinical and non-clinical teams using an electronic dashboard.
The researchers' hospital developed in house e-reporting tools for use on its IT network. The system was created using Visual Basic programming and utilized existing word processing and database software. Each PC terminal in clinical areas was granted access to the e-reporting forms. Staff were provided with brief 15-minute training sessions detailing how to use the system.
Since the introduction of the e-dashboard system the researchers say they have been
able to host all of the facility's information in one location, with regular updates, allowing ease of access for all staff. Staff can now compare their performance against other departments and by staff grouping. This has provided a ‘nudge’ effect and their compliance with IPC practices has gradually improved as they do not want to featured as an outlier. In addition to this, the benefit of the online availability of the information dramatically reduced the need for sending e-mails, thus saving time and reducing pressure on the facility’s IT network infrastructure.
Since the introduction of the electronic dashboard, the hospital has seen a substantial improvement in communicating of both process and outcome surveillance information to both clinical and non-clinical teams. As a result of this feedback the researchers have seen a substantial improvement in compliance with process surveillance for example, the hand hygiene return rates have risen from pre-intervention 62 percent to 82 percent post-intervention. As a result of improved compliance in other areas (environmental cleanliness, antibiotic prescribing, commode cleaning etc.) the researchers have seen more than 70 percent reductions in C. difficile and MRSA bacteremia infections. The system used can be replicated by any hospital with minimal resources when compared to commercial systems that require costly support and contracts to meet local needs. The system also allows the release of IPC time crucial in low settings where resources are constrained.
Reference: Wallace S and Damani N. Oral abstract O022 presented at ICPIC 2013. Development of an electronic dashboard to assist surveillance. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2013, 2(Suppl 1):O22