ECONI Evaluation of Cost of Nosocomial Infection

Project Team

Chief Investigator: Professor Jacqui Reilly 

GCU Co-investigators: Dr Helen Mason (Yunus Centre)

External Collaborators: Professor Chris Robertson (University of Strathclyde), Professor Nick Graves (Queensland University of Technology)

GCU researchers funded by study: Sally Stewart (Research Project Manager), Dr Sarkis Manoukian (Research Fellow Yunus Centre), Lynne Haahr (Administrator/Data Manager)

Funder: NHS Health Protection Scotland

Dates: Ongoing

Web pages:


Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) or Nosocomial Infections (NI) are infection acquired as a result of an episode of healthcare. HAIs are distressing for patients, increase their length of stay and incur additional costs to both the patient and the healthcare system. Studies which assess the impact of HAI tend to focus on the impact on patients in terms of morbidity and mortality within hospital. Point prevalence surveys of HAI are undertaken every five years throughout Europe. In Scotland on any one day during 2016 one in every twenty-two patients in hospital had an active HAI. While prevalence of HAI is an effective measure of burden of disease and proportion of infection types and is an essential measure when planning resources, in order to develop a full picture of risk and impact data on the incidence of HAI is survey is necessary


This study will investigate the cost and impact of Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) to patients, the health service and the wider community. This is in order to develop a model to allow policy makers to compare the cost effectiveness of Infection Prevention and Control measures in NHS Scotland.


The study has four objectives

  1. Determine the incidence and type of HAI in hospital.
  2. To estimate the impact of HAI on patient care in hospital.
  3. To investigate the impact of HAI on patient care post discharge
  4. To develop a framework to support decision making for future investment in Infection Prevention and Control (IPC)

Study design

ECONI is a two centre, observational incidence study with record linkage there is a nested case-control and qualitative study. The case-control study component includes a longitudinal follow up for one-year post discharge. A qualitative study will undertake interviews with a selected group of patients who acquire HAI during their hospital stay.