OBJECTIVE: To quantify the frequency and features of infection control programs implemented in Italian public hospitals. METHODS: In 2000, a questionnaire was mailed targeting all teaching and research hospitals and those with more than 300 beds, and a random sample of 50% of the district hospitals with fewer than 300 beds. RESULTS: The overall response rate was 80%. Fifty percent of the 428 respondent hospitals claimed to have an infection control committee, 43% an infection control physician (average, 1 infection control physician per 2,963 beds), and 33% an infection control nurse (average, 1 infection control nurse per 572 beds). Having an infection control committee, nurse, and physician occurred significantly more frequently in Northern and Central Italy, where the Regional Authority had implemented a regional infection control policy, and in larger hospitals. Thirty-nine percent of the hospitals claimed to have ongoing surveillance in place, mostly based on laboratory results. Eighty percent of the hospitals had defined at least one written protocol related to infection control policies, mostly for housekeeping, cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing patient equipment, or standard precautions; on the contrary, policies aimed at preventing specific infections were less frequent. CONCLUSION: This national representative survey showed that the infrastructure for infection control is suboptimal when compared with the guidelines and surveys published in other countries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)