Surveillance & Reporting

The Alberta Health Services IPC program partners with the Covenant Health to collect surveillance data at every acute care facility in the province.

IPC works with all AHS staff to prevent health care acquired infections and improve patient safety.

Surveillance is an essential component of Infection Prevention and Control. If carried out in a uniform manner, surveillance provides a measure of the burden of illness, establishes benchmark rates for internal and external comparison, identifies potential risk factors, and allows assessment of specific interventions.


Reporting of Hand Hygiene compliance is one of AHS’ performance measures of safety. Hand hygiene is an effective strategy to reduce transmission of infection in the health-care setting and can be used to monitor how our health system is performing. These measures are reported quarterly.


Published Literature, Conference Presentations, and Other Resources


Published Literature

Ramirez Mendoza J, Daneman N, Elias M, Amuah J, Bush K, Couris C, Leeb K. A comparison of administrative data versus surveillance data for hospital-associated methicillin-resistant Staphlococcus aureus infections in Canadian hospitals. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 2017; 1-8. doi:10.1017/ice.2016.302


Published Literature

Bruzzese S, Bush K, Leal J, Kim J, Vickers D, Rusk A, Fathima S, Li V, Chui L, Louie M, Henderson E. Comparing the epidemiology of hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphlococcus aureus clone groups in Alberta, Canada. Epidemiology and Infection, 144(10), 2184-2190. doi:10.1017/S0950268816000376

Bush K, Rusk A, Buchanan-Chell M, Chandran U, Acorn L, Chow B, Ellison J, Happe J, Herrick T, Hobbs D, Howatt A, Linton K, McCombie R, McGill K, Patel S, Pearce C, Pitchko J, Sauerborn K, Siminoski L, Henderson E. Measuring the performance of a surveillance system: validation of antimicrobial resistant organisms incident infection cases in a complete infection prevention and control surveillance network. Canadian Journal of Infection Control, Summer 2016;31(2):95-100.

Rennert-May E, Bush K, Vickers D, Smith S. Use of a provincial surveillance system to characterize postoperative surgical site infections after primary hip and knee arthroplasty in Alberta, Canada. American Journal of Infection Control, Available from

Rusk A, Bush K, Brandt M, Smith C, Howatt A, Chow B, Henderson E. Improving surveillance for surgical site infections following total hip and knee arthroplasty using diagnosis and procedure codes in a provincial surveillance network. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, Available on CJO 2016. doi:10.1017/ice.2016.53

Sun J, Chow B, Hanowski B, Henderson E. Correlation between hand hygiene compliance and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus incidence. Canadian Journal of Infection Control, Winter 2016;31(4):215-220.

Conference Presentations

Molecular and Epidemiological Features of Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae and Acinetobacter in Alberta 2013-2015.  K Simmonds, A Rusk, K Bush, J Fuller, G Taylor, M Mulvey, K Fakharuddin, EA Henderson (oral presentation, AMMI-Canada Conference 2016).

Is Your Data Reliable? – Maintaining Accuracy, Timeliness, Comparability, Usability, and Relevance in Alberta Health Services’ Provincial infection prevention and Control Surveillance Program. B Chow, K Bush, J Leal,  A Rusk, J Happe, U Chandran, T Herrick, E Henderson (poster, IPAC Conference 2016).

Using Public Participation Techniques to Evaluate Alberta Health Services’ Clostridium difficile Surveillance Program. B Chow, J Happe, K Bush,  J Leal,  A Rusk, U Chandran, T Herrick, E Henderson (oral presentation, IPAC Conference 2016).


Published Literature

Bush K, Leal J, Fathima S, Li V, Vickers D, Chui L, Louie M, Taylor G, Henderson E. The molecular epidemiology of incident methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus cases among hospitalized patients in Alberta, Canada: a retrospective cohort study. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, 2015;4:35. doi:10.1186/s13756-015-0076-1

Taylor G, Bush K, Leal J, Henderson E, Chui L, Louie M. Epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections in Alberta, Canada. Journal of Hospital Infection, 2015 Feb; 89(2):132-135. doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2014.11.008

Conference Presentations

Use of a Provincial Surveillance System to Characterize Post-Operative Surgical Site Infections Following Primary Hip and Knee Arthroplasty in Alberta, Canada.  E Rennert-May, K Bush, D Vickers, S Smith, AHS IPC Program (poster, ID-Week, SHEA/IDSA/HIVMA/PEDSID conjoint conference 2015)

A Qualitative Inter-rater Reliability Analysis of Provincial Hand Hygiene Compliance Reviews in AHS. B Chow, D Vickers, J Leal,  K Bush, R Walia, EA Henderson (poster, IPAC Conference 2015).

Understanding the Data Quality of Central Venous Catheter Bloodstream Infections. B Chow, M Buchanan-Chell, K Bush, J Leal,  B Lee, EA Henderson (poster, IPAC Conference 2015).


Conference Presentations

Sustainable Standardized Surveillance for Healthcare Associated Infections in Alberta. K Bush, J Leal,  EA Henderson, D Vickers, G Taylor, NA Alfieri, L Dekker,  MA Joffe, IPC Surveillance Program, AHS IPC Program, Covenant Health IPC Program (oral presentation, Accreditation Canada Quality Conference 2014).


Conference Presentations

Characteristics of Patients with New Hospital-Acquired Antibiotic Resistant Organisms and Clostridium difficile Infections in Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health (AHS/CH), Alberta, Canada. K Bush, J Leal, A Durette, E Henderson, G Taylor, Surveillance Program, Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Program (poster, ID-Week,SHEA/IDSA/HIVMA/PEDSID conjoint conference 2013)

The Molecular Epidemiology of Incident Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Cases among Hospitalized Patients in Alberta, Canada. J Leal, S Fathima, V Li, K Bush, D Vickers, Linda C, M Louie, A. M Joffe, E Henderson (poster, ID-Week, SHEA/IDSA/HIVMA/PEDSID conjoint conference 2013)

The Epidemiology of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Bloodstream Infections (MRSA BSI) among Admitted Patients in Alberta, Canada. K Bush, G Taylor, J Leal, A Durette, E Henderson, (poster, ID-Week, SHEA/IDSA/HIVMA/PEDSID conjoint conference 2013)


Conference Presentations

Clostridium difficile and Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci Co-infection among Admitted Patients in Alberta, Canada. K.Bush, K.Simmonds, J.Leal, A.Durette, E.A.Henderson. (poster, ID-Week, SHEA/IDSA/HIVMA/PEDSID conjoint conference 2012)

Hand Hygiene Performance in Alberta Health Services (AHS). J.Leal, J. Barclay, K.Hope, D.Woods, S.Lafferty, E.A.Henderson, K.Bush, K.Fluet, N.Alfieri, L.Dekker, M.Joffe. (poster, ID-Week, SHEA/IDSA/HIVMA/PEDSID conjoint conference 2012)

Engaging with Infection Control Professionals (ICPs) to Evaluate a Provincial Surveillance Program. K.Simmonds, K.Bush, J.Leal, E.A.Henderson and the IPC Surveillance Program. (poster, ID-Week, SHEA/IDSA/HIVMA/PEDSID conjoint conference 2012)

Maintaining Data Quality in Alberta Health Services’ Provincial Infection Prevention and Control Surveillance Program. J Leal, K Bush, K Simmonds, N Alfieri, EA Henderson, Alberta Health Services Infection Prevention and Control (IPC)  Data Quality Working Group, Alberta Health Services Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Surveillance Program (poster, IPAC-Canada Conference 2012)

Other Resources

Other Resources

Best Practices for Surveillance of Health Care-associated Infections in Patient and Resident Populations Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committees (PIDAC, Ontario), 2014

Canadian Institute for Health Information, The CIHI Data Quality Framework, 2009. Ottawa, ON; CIHI, 2009

Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP) Monitors healthcare-associated infections at Canadian healthcare facilities and publishes infection control guidelines.

CDC/NHSN Surveillance Definitions for Specific Types of Infections Center for Disease Control, 2017

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated guidelines for evaluating public health surveillance systems: recommendations from the guidelines working group. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2001; 50:14-24

Recommended practices for surveillance: Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Am J Infect Control 2007;35:427-40