In-hospital surveillance of surgical site infections (SSI) was conducted on 599 patients in a German university hospital. On a subgroup of 342 patients, SSI was assessed after discharge from hospital based on data of a questionnaire and telephone interviews. Postdischarge surveillance revealed substantially higher infection rates than in-hospital surveillance. From assessment of single questionnaire items, a model of a 3-item questionnaire for surveillance of SSI is proposed. © 2009 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc.
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