Public reporting of healthcare-associated infection data in Europe. What are the views of infection prevention opinion leaders?

M. Martin, W. Zingg, S. Hansen, P. Gastmeier, A. W. Wu, D. Pittet, M. Dettenkofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: There is increasing interest in public reporting of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) data in Europe, mostly for patient safety reasons. But it is uncertain whether patients and other stakeholders benefit from them. Aim: To obtain the views of European infection control opinion leaders and provide information about public reporting of HAI in Europe. Methods: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control HAI surveillance National Contact Points and other opinion leaders in infection control from 34 European countries were invited to complete questionnaires about HAI reporting in their countries and to provide their personal views about public reporting. The issue was discussed during two discussion rounds in 2010 and 2012. Findings: Response rates were 100% and 93.9% for the two surveys. Current practices on publishing HAI data vary widely across Europe. Many experts support the idea of publishing HAI data. All representatives from the seven countries with established public reporting were in favour of such practice. After the first discussion round, 12 experts changed their opinion. Finally, the majority of the experts acknowledged the positive influence on hospitals by increasing competition on the basis of quality, but they are hesitant about publishing infection rates as these can be misinterpreted by patients and need standardization and validation. Conclusion: Opinion leaders in infection control in Europe acknowledged the positive influence of public reporting on hospital performance and resulting efforts to reduce infections. They were in favour of reporting of individual hospital data if (i) process indicators rather than outcome data are reported, and (ii) delivery of surveillance is monitored by external audits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-98
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Healthcare-associated infection
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Patient safety
  • Public reporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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