What is VICNISS?

VICNISS is the Victorian Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance System. The “N” in VICNISS stands for a word derived from Greek “nosocomial” meaning “originating in a hospital”.

VICNISS is administered by the VICNISS Coordinating Centre, who are fully funded by the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services and located in the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. 

All Victorian Public Hospitals are required to participate in VICNISS and regularly submit data on infections and related activities, whereas participation is voluntary for private hospitals.

The primary aim of VICNISS is to reduce healthcare associated infections (HAIs) in Victorian healthcare facilities. Surveillance and associated reporting have been demonstrated to result in reductions of up to 30% of HAIs. For more information, please see "What is surveillance".

The VICNISS Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance System is based on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) program called the National Health Safety Network (NHSN). The NHSN system has been widely used and is generally considered to be the most developed and validated hospital infection surveillance system worldwide. NHSN based systems are used in Europe, Japan, and South America. Most importantly, the NHSN system has been proven to reduce healthcare associated infections.

VICNISS has a different program of surveillance for smaller hospitals, including a mixture of process and outcome indicators. Smaller hospitals tend to see less outcomes (HAIs) but can benefit from performing surveillance of audits of processes associated with these outcomes such as ensuring patients are administered antibiotics correctly prior to surgery and that intravenous lines are properly cared for. 

The VICNISS Coordinating Centre collects and analyses data from individual hospitals, and reports quarterly to participants and the Department of Health & Human Services on aggregate, risk adjusted, procedure-specific infection rates. This information contributes to the development of accurate and reliable benchmarks against which hospitals and health services can assess their performance, and to the development of interventions to reduce infections. 

The Centre is staffed by a multidisciplinary team comprising infection control consultants, epidemiologists, infectious diseases physicians, and information technology experts. See Staff Details for further information.

The VICNISS Coordinating Centre publishes Annual or Bi-Annual Reports which can be accessed here which contain data about infection rates for the State of Victoria. Some data on infection rates provided to VICNISS from individual hospitals is available at the following links: http://www.myhospitals.gov.au/  - Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia rates and Hand hygiene compliance

http://performance.health.vic.gov.au/ Central line associated bloodstream infections in Intensive Care Units