We developed a standardised method to assess the quality of infection control in Dutch Nursing Home (NH), based on a cross-sectional survey that visualises the results. The method was called the Infection control RIsk Infection Scan (IRIS). We tested the applicability of this new tool in a multicentre surveillance executed June and July 2012.
The IRIS includes two patient outcome-variables, i.e. the prevalence of healthcare associated infections (HAI) and rectal carriage of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E); two patient-related risk factors, i.e. use of medical devices, and antimicrobial therapy; and three ward-related risk factors, i.e. environmental contamination, availability of local guidelines, and shortcomings in infection prevention preconditions. Results were categorised as low-, intermediate- and high risk, presented in an easy-to-read graphic risk spider-plot. This plot was given as feedback to management and healthcare workers of the NH.
Large differences were found among most the variables in the different NH. Common shortcomings were the availability of infection control guidelines and the level of environmental cleaning. Most striking differences were observed in the prevalence of ESBL carriage, ranged from zero to 20.6% (p < 0.001).
The IRIS provided a rapid and easy to understand assessment of the infection control situation of the participating NH. The results can be used to improve the quality of infection control based on the specific needs of a NH but needs further validation in future studies. Repeated measurement can determine the effectiveness of the interventions. This makes the IRIS a useful tool for quality systems.