Consumer knowledge and attitudes toward public reporting of health care–associated infection data

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Background: There is little information regarding consumer knowledge of health care–associated infection (HAI). Furthermore, it is unclear how meaningful publicly reported HAI data is to consumers, how they may use it, and the most appropriate format for data presentation. The purpose of this study was to explore consumer knowledge and attitudes toward HAI and public reporting. Methods: A qualitative study design, characterized by a series of semistructured interviews, was undertaken with purposively selected, adult elective surgical inpatients at a large metropolitan acute hospital. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Analysis of the data were conducted using thematic analysis. Results: Twenty interviews were conducted. The 5 major themes identified were: (1) awareness through experience, (2) focus on current illness, (3) patient contribution to infection prevention, (4) sources and mode of information, and (5) influence on choice of hospital. Discussion: We found broad variation in knowledge, sources of information, and preferences for the type and delivery of information. A significant cohort of participants preferred not to be informed, whereas others were neutral or only mildly interested. Conclusions: If public reporting of HAI data is to be aimed at consumers, further engagement with consumers is crucial to ensure the information provided is fit for purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-660
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Infection prevention
  • Patient awareness
  • Qualitative research
  • Semistructured interviews
  • Surveillance

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