Infectious diseases--despite significant progress, both in their management and prevention--are becoming an increasingly serious problem, and their extent and character frequently constitute a threat for public health. In addition, a significant part of medical decisions regarding treatment and prevention of invasive bacterial infections is not made on the basis of the etiological agent of infection, which increases the chance of therapeutic failures, and makes the right decisions regarding prophylaxis difficult. In June 2008 the National Reference Centre for Bacterial Meningitis (Krajowy Ośrodek Referencyjny ds. Diagnostyki Bakteryjnych Zakazeń Ośrodkowego Układu Nerwowego, KOROUN) started the BINet programme, which is a network monitoring invasive bacterial infections acquired outside the hospital. The programme aims to improve the diagnostic and thus therapeutic standards, in community acquired invasive bacterial infections in Poland. The BINet programme is based on the cooperation of clinicians, epidemiologists, microbiologists, and is headed by a team of the National Reference Centre for Bacterial Meningitis. The BINet programme enables quick and appropriate microbiological diagnosis of infections which is the basis of rational therapy and plays a key role in dealing with the infected patient. In addition, accurate epidemiological data allow to take quick and effective preventive measures at local and national level.