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J Hosp Infect. 2009 Nov;73(3):246-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2009.06.033. Epub 2009 Aug 27.

New identification of outliers and ventilator-associated pneumonia rates from 2005 to 2007 within the German Nosocomial Infection Surveillance System.

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Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


This study presents data for ventilator use and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) rates from the German hospital surveillance system for nosocomial infections (KISS: Krankenhaus Infektions Surveillance System). New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definitions became effective during 2005 and we describe the new method used by KISS to determine individual units with data at extreme ranges. The number of VAP cases per 1000 device-days was calculated and a new visual method, specifically funnel plots, was introduced to identify outliers. The VAP rate will be highly influenced by chance variability if only a few VAP cases are observed during a low number of ventilator-days. Funnel plots take this relationship between event rate and volume of cases into account. A total of 391 intensive care units (ICUs) reported surveillance data from 8 86 816 patients and included 6896 VAPs and 3 113 983 patient-days for the period January 2005 to December 2007. The mean VAP rate according to the new CDC definitions was 5.5 cases per 1000 ventilator-days (median: 4.4). The mean ventilator use in all ICUs was 35.7 (median: 29.3). Funnel plots identified 14.3% as outliers; 34 of them as high, and 22 as low, outliers. Since 2008, visual feedback to the KISS ICUs has been supplied by funnel plots. These are less prone to misinterpretation than histograms and they indicate when investigation is required for increasing VAP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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