Mishga Moinuddin MPH, CIC


Infection Prevention & Management Associates

Austin, Texas

Revised Publication:
January 17, 2024
Original Publication:
October 3, 2014
Declarations of Conflicts of Interest:
  • None.

Special thanks to Mishga Moinuddin for revising the Surveillance Chapter in 2020 for COVID-19 content prior to the overall 2024 chapter update. Additional thanks to Kathleen Meehan Arias, MS, MT, SM, CIC, FAPIC, for drafting the original 2014 chapter.


Surveillance is of paramount significance in infection prevention programs. This chapter discusses the history, evolution, and critical elements of surveillance programs in healthcare settings to improve patient safety and quality improvement. It outlines the steps that should be used when designing and evaluating a surveillance program. Furthermore, the chapter highlights electronic surveillance systems and the impact to the surveillance program and resource allocation. It also emphasizes the importance of using sound epidemiological and statistical principles. This chapter reviews factors that affect surveillance programs in healthcare facilities, such as compliance and accreditation requirements, public reporting, emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, outbreaks and pandemics, and mandatory reporting requirements.

This chapter provides an overview of the basic principles, terms, and definitions used in surveillance programs in healthcare settings. It also discusses surveillance methodologies, using surveillance data for performance improvement, and the use of information technology, in addition to a list of supplemental resources for obtaining additional information.