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The National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System: plans for the 1990s and beyond


The National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance (NNIS) System is an ongoing collaborative surveillance system among the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and United States hospitals to obtain national data on nosocomial infections. This system provides comparative data for hospitals and can be used to identify changes in infection sites, risk factors, and pathogens, and develop efficient surveillance methods. Data are collected prospectively using four surveillance components: hospital-wide, intensive care unit, high-risk nursery, and surgical patient. The limitations of NNIS data include the variability in case-finding methods, infrequency or unavailability of culturing, and lack of consistent methods for post-discharge surveillance. Future plans include more routine feedback of data, studies on the validity of NNIS data, new components, a NNIS consultant group, and more rapid data exchange with NNIS hospitals. Increasing the number of NNIS hospitals and cooperating with other agencies to exchange data may allow NNIS data to be used better for generating benchmark nosocomial infection rates. The NNIS system will continue to evolve as it seeks to find more effective and efficient ways to measure the nosocomial infection experience and assess the influence of patient risk, changes in the delivery of hospital care, and changes in infection control practices on these measures.

Gaynes RP, Culver DH, Emori TG, Horan TC, Banerjee SN, Edwards JR, Jarvis WR, Tolson JS, Henderson TS, Hughes JM

Am. J. Med. 1991 Sep;91(3B):116S-120S

PMID: 1656746