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Hospital epidemiologists’ and infection preventionists’ opinions regarding hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia as a potential healthcare-associated infection metric

  • Raymund B. Dantes (a1) (a2), Lilian M. Abbo (a3), Deverick Anderson (a4), Lisa Hall (a5) (a6), Jennifer H. Han (a7), Anthony D. Harris (a6), Surbhi Leekha (a6), Aaron M. Milstone (a8) (a9), Daniel J. Morgan (a6) (a10), Nasia Safdar (a11) (a12), Marin L. Schweizer (a13), Sharmila Sengupta (a14), Susan K. Seo (a15) (a16) and Clare Rock (a8)...



To ascertain opinions regarding etiology and preventability of hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB) and perspectives on HOB as a potential outcome measure reflecting quality of infection prevention and hospital care.


Cross-sectional survey.


Hospital epidemiologists and infection preventionist members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network.


A web-based, multiple-choice survey was administered via the SHEA Research Network to 133 hospitals.


A total of 89 surveys were completed (67% response rate). Overall, 60% of respondents defined HOB as a positive blood culture on or after hospital day 3. Central line-associated bloodstream infections and intra-abdominal infections were perceived as the most frequent etiologies. Moreover, 61% thought that most HOB events are preventable, and 54% viewed HOB as a measure reflecting a hospital’s quality of care. Also, 29% of respondents’ hospitals already collect HOB data for internal purposes. Given a choice to publicly report central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and/or HOB, 57% favored reporting either HOB alone (22%) or in addition to CLABSI (35%) and 34% favored CLABSI alone.


Among the majority of SHEA Research Network respondents, HOB is perceived as preventable, reflective of quality of care, and potentially acceptable as a publicly reported quality metric. Further studies on HOB are needed, including validation as a quality measure, assessment of risk adjustment, and formation of evidence-based bundles and toolkits to facilitate measurement and improvement of HOB rates.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Raymund B. Dantes MD, MPH, Email:


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