gms | German Medical Science

51. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e. V. (gmds)

10. - 14.09.2006, Leipzig

webKess - first experiences with the German webbased IT-system for nationwide surveillance of nosocomial infections

Meeting Abstract

  • Michael Behnke - Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin
  • Jörg Clausmeyer - Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin
  • Henning Rüden - Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin
  • Petra Gastmeier - Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e.V. (gmds). 51. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie. Leipzig, 10.-14.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06gmds253

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 1, 2006

© 2006 Behnke et al.
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In 1997 the German national reference center for surveillance of nosocomial infections established the hospital infections surveillance system (KISS, based on the American National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance System, NNISS) [1]. In December 2005, more than 300 hospitals from Germany and Austria were participating in KISS. In the beginning of 2005 a new webbased IT-application replaced the former IT-system.

Objective To compare the experiences moving from a offline surveillance system (KESS-Classic, [2]) in the year 2003 to a webbased system (webKess) in 2005.


These IT-systems support the KISS components for surveillance of NI in ICUs and surveillance of surgical site infections. The former IT-system consisted of data entry software in the hospitals and a large IT-infrastructure in the data center (DC). The hospitals had to send the data out of the data entry software via email to the DC. The DC created the analysis reports for the KISS members every 6 months. In webKess the user can enter, validate and analyse surveillance data immediately. We compared the quantities of hospital units and the amount of records, e.g. patient days, participating in KISS. We also analyzed the workload of both systems.


The data security is implemented on different levels: 1. physical, 2. on the network layer, 3. in the operational system and 4. in the application. Logfiles enable the analysis of user behavior. The usage of KESS-Classic finished at the end of 2004. Since the beginning of the year 2005 a webKess account is mandatory for all KISS members. The quantities in 2004 are influenced by the new IT-system, so Table 1 [Tab. 1] compares key values of KISS between the years 2003 and 2005. The routine IT workload with the KESS-Classic system averages 32 manweeks a year. In webKess we have to calculate 26 manweeks for routine work. This contains maintenance activities like code optimizing, bugfixing and the analysing of logfiles. The workload to create the analysis reports for the members and for the reference data is highly reduced (Table 1 [Tab. 1]). The support requests increased for 2005.


The migration process of the KISS-members to the new IT-system has finished. The IT-workload is nearly the same but the content of the work changed. The amount of time needed for bugfixing will decrease next year. The support requests increased because the users are not familiar with the new application. The IT-group in the DC has more time for developing new features. The users give a positive feedback about webKess.


Gastmeier P, Geffers C, Sohr D, Dettenkofer M, Daschner F, Ruden H. Five years working with the German nosocomial infection surveillance system (Krankenhaus Infektions Surveillance System). Am J Infect Control. 2003;31(5):316-21.
Behnke M, Eckmanns T, Rüden H. Implementation of an IT System for the Support of a Hospital Infection Surveillance System. In: Lecture Notes In Computer Science 2002; Vol. 2526. London, UK: Springer; 2002. 177-185.