Appl Clin Inform 2011; 02(03): 365-372
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2011-03-RA-0022
Research Article
Schattauer GmbH

Fully Automated Surveillance of Healthcare-Associated Infections with MONI-ICU

A Breakthrough in Clinical Infection Surveillance
A. Blacky
1  Clinical Institute of Hospital Hygiene, Medical University of Vienna and Vienna General Hospital, Austria
H. Mandl
2  Medexter Healthcare GmbH, Vienna, Austria
K.-P. Adlassnig
2  Medexter Healthcare GmbH, Vienna, Austria
3  Section for Medical Expert and Knowledge-Based Systems, Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics, and Intelligent Systems, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
W. Koller
1  Clinical Institute of Hospital Hygiene, Medical University of Vienna and Vienna General Hospital, Austria
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received: 16. März 2011

accepted: 21. Juli 2011

16. Dezember 2017 (online)


Objective: Expert surveillance of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) is a key parameter for good clinical practice, especially in intensive care medicine. Assessment of clinical entities such as HCAIs is a time-consuming task for highly trained experts. Such are neither available nor affordable in sufficient numbers for continuous surveillance services. Intelligent information technology (IT) tools are in urgent demand.

Methods: MONI-ICU (monitoring of nosocomial infections in intensive care units (ICUs)) has been developed methodologically and practically in a stepwise manner and is a reliable surveillance IT tool for clinical experts. It uses information from the patient data management systems in the ICUs, the laboratory information system, and the administrative hospital information system of the Vienna General Hospital as well as medical expert knowledge on infection criteria applied in a multilevel approach which includes fuzzy logic rules.

Results: We describe the use of this system in clinical routine and compare the results generated automatically by MONI-ICU with those generated in parallel by trained surveillance staff using patient chart reviews and other available information (“gold standard”). A total of 99 ICU patient admissions representing 1007 patient days were analyzed. MONI-ICU identified correctly the presence of an HCAI condition in 28/31 cases (sensitivity, 90.3%) and their absence in 68/68 of the non-HCAI cases (specificity, 100%), the latter meaning that MONI-ICU produced no “false alarms”. The 3 missed cases were due to correctable technical errors. The time taken for conventional surveillance at the 52 ward visits was 82.5 hours. MONI-ICU analysis of the same patient cases, including careful review of the generated results, required only 12.5 hours (15.2%).

Conclusion: Provided structured and sufficient information on clinical findings is online available, MONI-ICU provides an almost real-time view of clinical indicators for HCAI – at the cost of almost no additional time on the part of surveillance staff or clinicians.