Novel application of a discrete choice experiment to identify preferences for a national healthcare-associated infection surveillance programme: a cross-sectional study
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Objective: To identify key stakeholder preferences and priorities when considering a national healthcare-associated infection (HAI) surveillance programme through the use of a discrete choice experiment (DCE). Setting Australia does not have a national HAI surveillance programme. An online web-based DCE was developed and made available to participants in Australia. Participants: A sample of 184 purposively selected healthcare workers based on their senior leadership role in infection prevention in Australia. Primary and secondary outcomes: A DCE requiring respondents to select 1 HAI surveillance programme over another based on 5 different characteristics (or attributes) in repeated hypothetical scenarios. Data were analysed using a mixed logit model to evaluate preferences and identify the relative importance of each attribute. Results: A total of 122 participants completed the survey (response rate 66%) over a 5-week period. Excluding 22 who mismatched a duplicate choice scenario, analysis was conducted on 100 responses. The key findings included: 72% of stakeholders exhibited a preference for a surveillance programme with continuous mandatory core components (mean coefficient 0.640 (p<0.01)), 65% for a standard surveillance protocol where patient-level data are collected on infected and non-infected patients (mean coefficient 0.641 (p<0.01)), and 92% for hospital-level data that are publicly reported on a website and not associated with financial penalties (mean coefficient 1.663 (p<0.01)). Conclusions: The use of the DCE has provided a unique insight to key stakeholder priorities when considering a national HAI surveillance programme. The application of a DCE offers a meaningful method to explore and quantify preferences in this setting.
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