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Am J Infect Control. 1992 Aug;20(4):206-13.

Postdischarge surveillance for nosocomial wound infection: a brief review and commentary.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine Iowa City.


Escalating medical care costs during the last decade have resulted in shorter hospital stays and higher volumes of outpatients surgical procedures. As a result, the proportion of nosocomial surgical wound infections manifesting after discharge will increase. We performed a literature review to assess the current state of the art of postdischarge surveillance for nosocomial wound infection. From 20% to 70% of postoperative surgical site infections do not become apparent until after the patient's discharge, resulting in serious underreporting of true rates. Infections in outpatients are not being identified efficiently. Institutions using self-reporting methods report a low validity for these methods. The Centers for Disease Control and the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations currently have no strong guidelines on the subject. Since valid postdischarge surveillance may become a necessity for a quality infection control program, new national recommendations are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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