Background: Infection control link nurse programs show considerable variation. We report how Dutch link nurse programs are organized, how they progress, and how contextual factors may play a role in the execution of these programs. Methods: This mixed-methods study combined a survey and semi-structured interviews with infection control practitioners, based on items of the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR) checklist. Results: The Netherlands has 74 hospitals; 72 infection control practitioners from 72 different hospitals participated in the survey. Four of these infection control practitioners participated in interviews. A link nurse program was present in 67% of the hospitals; responsibility for 76% of these programs lied solely with the infection prevention and control team. The core component of most programs (90%) was education. Programs that included education on infection prevention topics and training in implementation skills were perceived as more effective than programs without such education or programs where education included only infection prevention topics. The interviews illustrated that these programs were initiated by the infection prevention team with the intention to collaborate with other departments to improve practice. Content for these programs was created at the time of their implementation. Infection control practitioners varied in their ability to express program goals and to engage experts and key stakeholders. Conclusions: Infection control link nurse programs vary in content and in set up. Programs with a clear educational content are viewed as more successful by the infection control practitioners that implement these programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
JournalAntimicrobial resistance and infection control
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2020


  • Compliance
  • Cross infection
  • Guideline adherence
  • Infection control guidelines
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Liaison nurse
  • Multi-modal intervention
  • Nosocomial infections
  • Social sciences

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