Safety and Quality > Our Work > Healthcare Associated Infection > National Surveillance Initiative

The National Surveillance Initiative seeks to explore options for a national surveillance system to monitor healthcare associated infections (HAI) and provide timely feedback to jurisdictions and clinicians. The result is an evidence-based and authoritative analysis that can promote stronger linkages between other health data systems and with policy makers, and to ensure that the messages derived from surveillance data can be turned into public health action for better health outcomes.

Surveillance Validation Guide for healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus Bloodstream Infection (PDF 1.20MB) (Word 864KB)

This document has been reviewed and remains current [April 2018]

Latest data

Healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections, 2013–14:

Reducing harm to patients from healthcare associated infection: the role of surveillance

Reducing harm to patients from healthcare associated infection: the role of surveillance, was released in 2008. This report provided an overview of HAI issues and surveillance in Australia at that time. The report provided costs that these infections had on the health system at that time.

Many aspects of the document have been subsequently reviewed and updated by the Commission, including the following updates:

Bloodstream infection – SAB and CLABSI
Neonatal infection – Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network
Multi-resistant organisms – AURA, CPE and SAB
Clostridium difficile associated disease – CDI
Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection – AICGs
Adult Intensive Care Unit acquired infection – ICU CLABSI, SAB and AURA
Neonatal intensive care acquired infection – Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network
Hand Hygiene – Hand Hygiene Australia
Antimicrobial usage monitoring and analysis – AURA

Implementation Guides for SAB and CLABSI

Two implementation guides have been developed for use by Australian hospitals and organisations to support the implementation of surveillance for Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) and Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI). The guides have been developed by the Commission’s Healthcare Associated Infection Technical Advisory Group in collaboration with the clinical experts and the surveillance units from jurisdictions and are designed to support and standardise existing surveillance activities in line with the national definitions for SAB and CLABSI.

Each of the guides detail interpretation of the definitions, flowcharts, inclusions and exclusion for each of the surveillance topics, as well a list of examples to assist with decisions on those more difficult cases. The guides are not intended to replace or inform clinical management of infections or patient management but to standardise how key infection data is collected and reported. All comments and feedback will be reviewed and responded to as part of the consultation process.

Comments and feedback received will be reviewed and responded to monthly by the HAI Technical Working Group.

Below are links to the implementation guides:

For more information contact

National Definitions and Calculations

Approaches to Surgical Site Infection Surveillance

Approaches to Surgical Site Infection Surveillance describes the approaches that can be used to underpin the design and implementation of a surgical site infection (SSI) surveillance program in acute healthcare settings. The approaches described aim to improve the usefulness of surveillance data for measurement and priority setting at both the local and national level. Health service organisations should consider the approaches described in this document when establishing a new SSI surveillance program and when reviewing or expanding current SSI surveillance programs.

Download Approaches to Surgical Site Infection Surveillance