​Point prevalence survey validation protocol – Version 2.1 - Point prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial use in European acute care hospitals

technical guidance protocol
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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. PPS Validation Protocol Version 2.1 Stockholm: ECDC; 2014

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This protocol is the final ECDC point prevalence survey (PPS) validation protocol, which was adapted according to the findings of the pilot validation study and discussed with experts from Member States at a meeting in London on 5 March 2012. The protocol was implemented in five countries during the final phase of the survey at acute care hospitals in May–June 2012.

Executive summary

In accordance with the Improving Patient Safety in Europe project (IPSE) transition plan and with article II.8.c of Council Recommendation 2009/C 151/01 of 9 June 2009 on patient safety, including the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), ECDC developed a methodology for carrying out point prevalence surveys (PPSs) of HAIs and antimicrobial use in European acute care hospitals. The main objective of this ECDC PPS is to estimate the total burden of HAI and antimicrobial use in acute care hospitals in the European Union. 

In 2011, together with experts from Member States, ECDC developed a pilot validation study protocol to test the feasibility and appropriateness of different methods to assess the validity and reliability of the PPS data. The protocol was implemented at 20 hospitals in 10 of the countries participating in the project ‘Pilot validation study of the ECDC point prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial use in European acute care hospitals’ (OJ/23/06/2011-PROC/2011/060). The study was outsourced to the Glasgow Caledonian University (Contract ECD.2971) following an Open Call for Tender (OJ/23/06/2011-PROC/2011/060) and coordinated by the Glasgow Caledonian University, in collaboration with Health Protection Scotland (HPS, UK), the Health Protection Agency (HPA, UK), National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL, Finland), French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS, France), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany) and ECDC. 

The current protocol is the final ECDC PPS validation protocol, which was adapted according to the findings of the pilot validation study and discussed with experts from Member States at a meeting in London on 5 March 2012. The protocol was implemented in five countries during the final phase of the first ECDC PPS at acute care hospitals in May–June 2012. The ECDC Advisory Forum recommended that all Member States perform a validation survey during future ECDC PPSs to enable better interpretation of PPS results.