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How infection control teams can assess their own performance and enhance their prestige using activity and outcome indicators for public reporting

  • P. Parneix
    Correspondence
    Address: Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Bordeaux, Groupe Hospitalier Pellegrin, 33076 Bordeaux, France. Tel.: +33 05 56 79 60 58; fax: +33 05 56 79 60 12.
    Affiliations
    South-West France Healthcare-Associated Infection Control Centre, Bordeaux, France
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Published:January 06, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2014.12.009

      Summary

      In France, infection control (IC) practitioners appeared in the late 1970s. In 1995, French health authorities formally introduced the concept of IC teams, which became mandatory in November 1999. Confidential IC annual reports for each hospital became mandatory in 2000. Under pressure from consumer associations, the Ministry of Health introduced IC performance indicators for public reporting in 2004, the first being known as ICALIN. Although the annual IC report was intended to be a hospital report, in practice it was often considered to be the IC team's report, so IC teams began to be held accountable for the performance of their hospitals against IC indicators. Several IC teams thought that the report failed to reflect the volume and range of their activities, especially in terms of counselling. However, most of them recognized the benefit of public reporting, as their work was at least under scrutiny and recognized as useful. Using indicators to evaluate IC performance thus provided a real boost for IC teams in France. Indicators must be refined periodically if they are to be sustainable. Further work on core competencies for hospital hygiene professionals is needed in France to improve their performance and credibility. Should an IC team be accountable for nosocomial infection in its hospital? The answer ‘no’ might seem strange, but so might an unqualified ‘yes’.

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