National Clinical Surveillance Infection Control System
Healthcare acquired infection (HCAI) is one of the commonest causes of harm to people using healthcare services. There are estimates that about half of HCAIs can be prevented by consistent implementation of best practice in infection prevention and control (IPC). A key part of driving the improvements in quality and patient safety that will improve performance on preventing HCAI is good and timely information and information sharing. A national information system to support surveillance of HCAI has a key part in control of HCAI.
HSE Acute and Community services, eHealth and AMRIC are now working together to introduce a National Clinical Surveillance IT System for Infection and Prevention Control. This system will be available across all Acute and Community services and will help to support integrated care of patients on their journey between Acute and Community based services.
The project will deliver significant benefits to the patient, service users and staff. Healthcare workers will have access to comprehensive up-to-date information to help protect the people they care for from avoidable HCAI. It will reduce the time IPC practitioners spend on collecting and collating information and generating reports so that they have more time to support staff on the frontline to provide safe care for patients and service users. The system will also support enhanced clinical audit.
The system will:
- Provide for increased information flow to support care.
- Improve our ability to monitor how well guidelines are implemented.
- Deliver enhanced health workforce productivity due to greater efficiencies in obtaining patient information, record keeping, administration and referrals.
- Assist in the timely management of outbreaks.
- Generate real-time alerts which can be followed up promptly by healthcare workers.
There are a number of hospitals which already have clinical surveillance systems in place for Infection Control, these include Tallaght University Hospital, Kerry University Hospital and across UL Hospitals Group.
Currently a project is underway across the Saolta Hospital Group in collaboration with CHO1 and CHO2 to roll out such a system in an integrated way across acute and community services. As part of that project Galway University Hospital, Mayo University Hospital and Roscommon University Hospital went live late 2022.
Users of these systems have said that ‘they help improve our efficiency by removing the manual processes that were previously very time consuming. The availability of real time data helps IPC to make safe decisions for patient management immediately.’
Procurement of the system has now completed and areas are in the process of establishing their Local Implementation Groups (LIGs). These LIGs will have membership from both acute and community services to ensure that an integrated approach is taken to implementation.
A national eHealth project team is now in place and Informatics Nurse posts (CNM2) are in place across Hospital Groups.
The plan is to implement this system progressively commencing in Q4 2023.
Page updated 22/08/23