Background: The implementation of hospital infection prevention and control (IPC) in south Asia is not well described. We aimed to assess IPC programmes in hospitals in this region and explore opportunities for improvement. Methods: Attendees from hospitals in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region who were at one of four National Initiative for Patient Safety workshops organised by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (New Delhi) from 2009 to 2012 were invited to complete a semi-structured questionnaire. The survey addressed six main components of IPC programmes. Results: We received responses from 306 participants from 82 hospitals. Five key opportunities for improvement emerged: (1) lack of healthcare epidemiologists, (2) relative infrequency of antibiotic guidelines (53%) and prescribing audits (33%) (3) lack of awareness of needle stick injury rates (84%) (4) only 47% of hospitals were prepared for surge capacity for patients with infectious diseases, and (5) limited coordination of hospital infection control personnel with other support services (55%-66%). Conclusion: These results outline IPC challenges in the SAARC region and may be useful to guide future quality improvement initiatives.
- Healthcare-associated infection
- infection control
- infection prevention
- patient safety