What is it about?

This paper reports the design of a study which will investigate the impact of healthcare associated or nosocomial infection. These are infections which were not present on admission to hospital. The study will count all healthcare associated infections that meet case definitions which have been designed to identify healthcare associated infections. The study will record infections for one year with a teaching hospital and a general hospital in NHS Scotland. It will ask a sub-set patients about how they recover compared with patients with similar conditions who did not develop HAI.

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Why is it important?

infections acquired during healthcare cause patients distress and delay their recovery. Describing the impact of an infection on patients who are already unwell can be challenging. It is important for healthcare workers to know who is most at risk of developing infections and which infections have the greatest impact on patient recovery. These infections may have long lasting effects which can lead to changes to the patients life and long term care when they leave hospital. This study will provide information on not only the who, what, where and when of hospital infection but the consequences of those infections. It will also assess the cost of developing HAI to acute hospital care and community services in the NHS. This will allow identification of the HAI which have the greatest impact on patients recovery and implications for the NHS.


The design of this study is complex, the team have attempted to collect data in a way that did not ask too much of patients when they are unwell. It has been great to work with the infection control and clinical teams who face challenges every day on where to concentrate their resources. We hope that this work will provide useful input to support them in providing evidence based care for future patients.

Sally Stewart
Glasgow Caledonian University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: How do we evaluate the cost of nosocomial infection? The ECONI protocol: an incidence study with nested case-control evaluating cost and quality of life, BMJ Open, June 2019, BMJ,
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026687.
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