Second PPS by ECDC (2016-2017): What can we expect?

ECDC is organising a second point prevalence survey (PPS) of HAI and antimicrobial use in acute care hospitals. With Carl Suetens, Senior Expert Healthcare-associated infections at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control spoke Carola Timmel.
On May 5 you mentioned (at the symposium on the International day of Hand Hygiene in the Austrian health ministry, Vienna), that a PPS (point prevalence survey) 2016-2017 is prepared. Why will ECDC organise a second survey (first was in 2011-2012)? Probably the aim is to compare the data with the data of the old one?

In 2010, we agreed with Member States and the ECDC Advisory Forum to perform the ECDC PPS of HAIs (healthcare-associated infections) and antimicrobial use in acute care hospitals every five years. The PPS is in fact a routine surveillance activity of ECDC’s HAI-Net network (under the EU legislation of surveillance of communicable diseases). The aim of repeated PPSs is to follow-up the total burden of all types of HAIs in acute care hospitals in Europe and PPSs are the most cost-effective way to do this.

Are you using the same parameters as at PPS 2011-12 or are there any differences?

The main parameters and definitions are the same, but there are some changes to the protocol, which are being piloted at the moment until end of September. The final PPS II protocol will only be ready in October 2015. In particular quite some new structure and process indicators have been added at the hospital and ward level (e.g. staffing levels for registered nurses and nursing assistants, alcohol hand rub consumption by ward, number of blood cultures taken etc.). In addition, Member States will also be required to organise a validation study of their national PPS to assess the quality of the collected data.

When will the national surveys for the 2016-2017 PPS be organised, and when the results will be available?

The national surveys for the 2016-2017 PPS will be organised in 2016 (about 1/3 of the countries) and 2017 (the other 2/3).  The results of the second PPS will only be available in 2018.