Another metric we can use is the Cumulative Attributable Difference, or CAD. Whereas the SIR is the ratio between observed and expected infections, the CAD is the difference. We use the CAD to help allocate our limited infection prevention resources to the places that have the most need of improvement.
Performing surveillance for healthcare-associated infections (HAI) is not easy. Infection Preventionists do their best at applying sometimes cumbersome definitions. In most hospitals, the surveillance process is at least partially done using electronic medical records and a third-party abstraction software.
Last time, we started talking about ways to visualize Surgical Infection data. When I first presented this information to hospital and physician leadership, one of the main questions they had was how individual doctors compared to each other. This seemed like a great opportunity to demonstrate the power and flexibility of the SIR!
As someone who does data visualization for the Infection Prevention office at a large academic medical center, I deal with a lot of infection data. One of the main types of infections that I work with is Surgical Site Infections.