Reflective accounts

Healthcare surveillance

The importance of surveillance became apparent to me as a new member of the community infection prevention and control team. As healthcare professionals, we have a responsibility to demonstrate sound infection prevention and control measures.

Picture credit: REX

The CPD article helped me to develop my knowledge and understanding of the theory behind surveillance, its purpose in the service we deliver and the different surveillance approaches that may be used.

An accurate surveillance programme is integral to effective infection prevention and control. This CPD emphasised the importance of collecting, analysing and interpreting data and disseminating the results to the relevant bodies.

Quality survey data can be used in a monitoring and information system to alert us to specific clusters of infection, assist with identification and enable us to put preventive measures in place. Surveillance is an effective way to monitor whether these measures are reducing the incidence of healthcare-associated infections.

The targeted surveillance of Clostridium difficile and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections is relevant to my role. MRSA can cause increased infection risk in people with open wounds or urinary or intravenous


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