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Surveillance of healthcare associated infection: Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia NBPDS

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Set Specification
METeOR identifier:Help on this term391133
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 15/11/2012
DSS type:Help on this termData Set Specification (DSS)
Scope:Help on this term

The purpose of this National best practice data set (NBPDS) is to support a comprehensive surveillance program of healthcare associated infections (HAI). HAIs are those infections that are not present or incubating at the time of admission to a healthcare program or facility, develop within a healthcare organisation or are produced by micro-organisms acquired during admission.

This NBPDS is intended to support Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) surveillance in Australian hospitals. It is designed for the purposes of HAI surveillance, not diagnosis. The value of surveillance as part of a hospital infection control program is supported by high-grade international and national evidence.

This NBPDS supports development of local forms and systems for surveillance of HAIs and associated data collection. This NBPDS applies to patient episodes of SAB in Australian hospitals.

Case Definition – Healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB)

A patient-episode of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) is a positive blood culture for Staphylococcus aureus.

For surveillance purposes, only the first isolate per patient is counted, unless at least 14 days has passed without a positive culture, after which an additional episode is recorded.

A SAB will be considered to be a healthcare-associated event if:


  • CRITERION A. The patient’s first SAB positive blood culture was collected more than 48 hours after hospital admission or less than 48 hours after discharge.


  • CRITERION B. The patient’s first positive SAB blood culture was collected less than or equal to 48 hours after hospital admission and one or more of the following key clinical criteria was met for the patient-episode of SAB:
  1. SAB is a complication of the presence of an indwelling medical device (e.g. intravascular line, haemodialysis vascular access, CSF shunt, urinary catheter)
  2. SAB occurs within 30 days of a surgical procedure where the SAB is related to the surgical site
  3. SAB was diagnosed within 48 hours of a related invasive instrumentation or incision
  4. SAB is associated with neutropenia (Neutrophils: less than 1 x 109/L) contributed to by cytotoxic therapy

In order for jurisdictions and private hospital ownership groups to accurately report and monitor Healthcare Associated Infections, the data elements listed should be collected at hospital level for each patient-episode of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia. HAI patient episode data elements for SAB, by short name


Data elements to be collected for each patient episode Data elements used for calculation of SAB rates
Person identifier Patient days
Family name Patient episodes of healthcare associated SAB
Given name(s)  
Indigenous status  
Date of birth  
Address line (person)  
Suburb/town/locality name (person)  
Australian state/territory identifier  
Australian postcode (address)  
Admission date  
Separation date  
Ward/clinical area  
Specimen collection date  
Specimen collection time  
Laboratory number  
Specimen identifier  
Laboratory result identifier  
Healthcare associated SAB clinical criteria  
Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia status  
SAB methicillin susceptibility  
Antibiotic susceptibility (MRSA isolate)  
Antibiotic susceptibility indicator (MRSA isolate)  
Establishment number  

Collection and usage attributes

Statistical unit:Help on this term

Episodes of infection (Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB))

Guide for use:Help on this term

Surveillance data should be used to identify local problem areas and implement appropriate policy and clinical interventions to improve the quality of care, not for external benchmarking. Effective surveillance systems provide the impetus for change and make it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. An effective surveillance system is one that provides timely and reliable information to hospital managers and clinicians to effectively manage HAI.

Comments:Help on this term

Surveillance is an important tool to reduce HAI. The purpose of collecting, analysing, and then acting on reliable surveillance data is to improve quality and patient safety within a service or facility or jurisdiction.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC)

Origin:Help on this term

ACSQHC Healthcare Associated Infection Advisory Committee's Technical Working Group

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also Healthcare-associated infections NBEDS 2016- Health, Standard 25/01/2018

Metadata items in this Data Set SpecificationHelp on this term

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Seq No.Help on this termMetadata itemHelp on this term ObligationHelp on this term Max occursHelp on this term
1Person—person identifier, XXXXXX[X(14)]Optional1
2Person (name)—family name, text X[X(39)]Optional1
3Person (name)—given name, text X[X(39)]Optional1
4Person—Indigenous status, code NOptional1
5Person—date of birth, DDMMYYYYOptional1
6Person—sex, code NOptional1
7Person (address)—address line, text X[X(179)]Optional1
8Address—suburb/town/locality name, text X[X(45)]Optional1
9Person—Australian state/territory identifier, code NOptional1
10Address—Australian postcode, Australian postcode code (Postcode datafile) {NNNN}Optional1
11Episode of admitted patient care—admission date, DDMMYYYYOptional1
12Episode of admitted patient care—separation date, DDMMYYYYOptional1
13Establishment—ward/clinical area name, text X[X(39)]Optional1
14Person—specimen collection date, DDMMYYYYOptional1
15Person—specimen collection time, hhmmOptional1
16Laboratory—organisation identifier, text X[X(39)]Optional1
17Laboratory—specimen identifier, text X[X(39)]Optional1
18Laboratory—result identifier, text X[X(39)]Optional1
19Patient episode of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia—most probable healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia clinical criteria, code NOptional1
20Patient episode of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia—Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia status, code NConditional1
21Patient episode of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia—Staphylococcus aureus methicillin susceptibility indicator, yes/no code NConditional1
22Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolate—antibiotic susceptibility, text X[X(39)]Conditional8
23Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolate—antibiotic susceptibility indicator, yes/no code NConditional8
24Establishment—number of patient days, total N[N(7)]Mandatory1
25Establishment—number of patient episodes of healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia, total episodes N[NNNN]Mandatory1
26Establishment—organisation identifier (state/territory), NNNNNMandatory1
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