A-HAI & AUREA – two new surveillance-tools


Surveillance is a key factor in the fight against AMR and HAI. What’s about renewals concerning this matter in Austria? Carola Timmel asked Dr. Dr. Reinhilde Strauß, responsible for these issues at the ministry for health.

Mrs. Strauß, in 2017 the database AUREA (Austrian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System) will be implemented. What are the renewals, and how the data management worked before?

The implemented database simplifies the data management in the registration of resistance data of important pathogens in Austria. In essence, it was about creating an electronic system. The data collection exists since more than 10 years but in the past, the laboratories sent data in different formats.With this electronic system the data is directly sent to the ministry in one unified format. Data quality checks and analysis is done in close cooperation between the ministry and the reference center. So we have now a much more valuable instrument in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

What were the difficulties before the implementation of the AUREA system?

Since different paper-based and electronical formats were used, the creation of a single dataset was necessary. With a unified entry mask and standards for data delivery these problems are solved.

Is there a legal obligation to participate in AUREA?

AUREA is a project of the Austrian Health reform and thus there is high political commitment for participation.

In the course of my research about AUREA,  I encountered a short description of a collection system for healthcare associated infections, called A-HAI, which currently is in development. What’s it about?

With the so called „A-HAI“-system (the letter “A” stands for Austria), healthcare associated  infections shall be registered and quality assured evaluated in a uniform manner. For the hospitals nothing is changing. The aim is not to complicate the matter for them, which means that they shall still have the opportunity to use their usual system (ANISS, KISS, NISS, ASDI). The new thing is that all those hospitals, who did not participate up do now have to join one of the existing system, but they can choose which system they want to use.

What exactly must be reported?

Surgical site infections if they occur in connection with hip-endoprothesis  or cholecysteoctomy and infections in intensive care units.

What’s about the MRSA figures for Austria?

 The MRSA-rate in Austria is in comparison to EU-countries low and even further decreasing since years. The concrete figure is currently for invasive infections about 7,5%. All details are published in the Austrian AMR-report AURES (www.bmgf.gv.at).


About Author

Carola Timmel is journalist for print and radio and professional speaker. Her focus lies on the topic Medicine & Health.

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