Improvement of quality of care has been on the agenda in European health care institutions for some time. Improving the quality of care is one of he most comprehensive tasks that can be undertaken engaging both aministrative and medical staff.
Implementation of this intention should be based on systematic monitoring with feedback and evaluation. The information gathered for this purpose must however be professionally meaningful, of good quality itself and not too costly to obtain.
Current litterature shows that many different strategies exist for the use of prophylactic antibiotics to prevent postoperative wound infections in surgical patients and pneumonia in intensive care patients. The incidence of prophylaxis used in apparently comparable surgical interventions ranges from well above two thirds to one third, and the variety of antibiotics is also wide. In intensive care the use of SDD in Europe was recently found to vary between countries ranging from 80% of the units in some countries to 0 in others. Within the field of infection control the use of clinical monitoring systems has advanced to a point where unqualified applications should be avoided, and the time has come where the focus should be on developing relevant indicators. The project applies the essence of this experience to examine antibiotic prophylaxis in a sample of surgical and intensive care patients, and includes validation techniques to ensure comparability of data. A guideline on good antibiotic prophylaxis (GAP) as well as indicators fo verification of GAP are supposed to emerge from the study, which may act as a precursor to a forthcomin European standard in hospital infection control.
The intent of the study is to uncover strategies for prophylactic antibiotic treatment in surgery and intensive care in European hospitals, to establish guidelines for good practice of antibiotic prophyaxis, and to develop quality indicators for monitoring the use of inappropriate antibiotic prophylaxis. The aim is to identify and discourage the use of unvalidated antibiotic prophylaxis by introducing simple indicators, and by this improve the egality and quality of health care provided to the citizens of Europe.