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We surveyed acute-care hospitals on strategies to reduce inappropriate C. difficile testing and treatment of colonized patients. Decision support during C. difficile test ordering was common, but “hard stops” to prevent placement of inappropriate orders and active intervention of antimicrobial stewardship programs on positive C. difficile test reports were infrequent.
With this survey, we investigated healthcare-associated invasive mold infection (HA-IMI) surveillance and air sampling practices in US acute-care hospitals. More than half of surveyed facilities performed HA-IMI surveillance and air sampling. HA-IMI surveillance was more commonly performed in academic versus nonacademic facilities. HA-IMI case definitions and sampling strategies varied widely among respondents.
To describe interfacility transfer communication (IFTC) methods for notification of multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) status in a diverse sample of acute-care hospitals.
Hospitals within the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network (SRN).
SRN members completed an electronic survey on protocols and methods for IFTC. We assessed differences in IFTC frequency, barriers, and perceived benefit by presence of an IFTC protocol.
Among 136 hospital representatives who were sent the survey, 54 (40%) responded, of whom 72% reported having an IFTC protocol in place. The presence of a protocol did not differ significantly by hospital size, academic affiliation, or international status. Of those with IFTC protocols, 44% reported consistent notification of MDRO status (>75% of the time) to receiving facilities, as opposed to 13% from those with no IFTC protocol (P = .04). Respondents from hospitals with IFTC protocols reported significantly fewer barriers to communication compared to those without (2.8 vs 4.3; P = .03). Overall, however, most respondents (56%) reported a lack of standardization in communication. Presence of an IFTC protocol did not affect whether respondents perceived IFTC protocols as having a significant impact on infection prevention or antimicrobial stewardship.
Most respondents reported having an IFTC protocol, which was associated with reduced communication barriers at transfer. Standardization of protocols and clarity about expectations for sending and receipt of information related to MDRO status may facilitate IFTC and promote appropriate and timely infection prevention practices.
This survey investigated diagnostic and antimicrobial stewardship practices related to molecular respiratory panel testing in adults with lower respiratory tract infections at acute care hospitals. Most respondents reported use of rapid respiratory panels, but related stewardship practices were uncommon and the real-world impact of respiratory panels were difficult to quantify.
A survey of acute-care hospitals found that rapid molecular diagnostic tests (RMDTs) have been widely adopted. Although many hospitals use their antimicrobial stewardship team and/or guidelines to help clinicians interpret results and optimize treatment, opportunities to more fully achieve the potential benefits of RMDTs remain.
To understand hospital policies and practices as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) conducted a survey through the SHEA Research Network (SRN). The survey assessed policies and practices around the optimization of personal protection equipment (PPE), testing, healthcare personnel policies, visitors of COVID-19 patients in relation to procedures, and types of patients. Overall, 69 individual healthcare facilities responded in the United States and internationally, for a 73% response rate.
Infectious diseases professional societies, public health agencies, and healthcare regulatory agencies call for antibiotic stewardship programs (ASP) in many healthcare settings. However, medical legal implications of these programs remain largely uncharted territory. Although there is no legal precedent addressing issues of liability and standards of care on this subject, anticipating how the courts may assess questions of medical liability with respect to the various components of ASPs is important to define best practices in ASP operations, not only to manage the potential risk but also to improve patient care. This article seeks to address some of the common processes and interventions involved in antibiotic stewardship and the potential professional liability implications of these activities.
To characterize antifungal stewardship among antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) at a diverse range of hospitals and to correlate antifungal stewardship with hospital characteristics.
ASP physician and/or pharmacist members at Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network (SRN) hospitals.
An electronic survey administered August–September 2018 via the SRN to 111 hospitals. The χ2 test was used to test associations between ASP and hospital characteristics and use of antifungal stewardship strategies.
Of 111 hospitals, 45 (41%) responded; most were academic medical centers (65%) caring for stem-cell patients (73.3%) and solid-organ transplant patients (80.0%). Most hospitals have large, well-established ASPs: 60% had >5 team members and 68.9% had a duration ≥6 years. In 43 hospitals (95.6%), ASPs used antifungal stewardship strategies, most commonly prospective audit and feedback (73.3%) by a pharmacist (71.4%). Half of ASPs (51.1%) created guidelines for invasive fungal infection (IFI) management. Most hospitals (71.1%) offered rapid laboratory tests to diagnose IFI, but polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and antifungal susceptibility testing varied. Also, 29 ASPs (64.4%) perform surveillance of antifungal utilization, but only 9 (31%) reported to the CDC National Healthcare Safety Network. ASP size, duration, and presence of transplant populations were not associated with a higher likelihood of using antifungal stewardship strategies (P > .05 for all).
The use of antifungal stewardship strategies was high at SRN hospitals, but they mainly involved audit and feedback. ASPs should be encouraged (1) to disseminate guidelines for IFI management, (2) to promote access to laboratory tests for rapid and accurate IFI diagnosis, and (3) to perform surveillance for antifungal utilization with reporting to the CDC.
Continuing surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis after the incision is closed is not recommended in current guidelines. Our survey found that only 30.8% of hospitals had fully adopted these new recommendations. Feedback on prophylaxis duration was infrequently provided. Promoting guideline-concordant surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis discontinuation is an important target for future stewardship interventions.
We used a survey to characterize contemporary infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship program practices across 64 healthcare facilities, and we compared these findings to those of a similar 2013 survey. Notable findings include decreased frequency of active surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, frequent active surveillance for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and increased support for antibiotic stewardship programs.
To ascertain opinions regarding etiology and preventability of hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB) and perspectives on HOB as a potential outcome measure reflecting quality of infection prevention and hospital care.
Hospital epidemiologists and infection preventionist members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network.
A web-based, multiple-choice survey was administered via the SHEA Research Network to 133 hospitals.
A total of 89 surveys were completed (67% response rate). Overall, 60% of respondents defined HOB as a positive blood culture on or after hospital day 3. Central line-associated bloodstream infections and intra-abdominal infections were perceived as the most frequent etiologies. Moreover, 61% thought that most HOB events are preventable, and 54% viewed HOB as a measure reflecting a hospital’s quality of care. Also, 29% of respondents’ hospitals already collect HOB data for internal purposes. Given a choice to publicly report central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and/or HOB, 57% favored reporting either HOB alone (22%) or in addition to CLABSI (35%) and 34% favored CLABSI alone.
Among the majority of SHEA Research Network respondents, HOB is perceived as preventable, reflective of quality of care, and potentially acceptable as a publicly reported quality metric. Further studies on HOB are needed, including validation as a quality measure, assessment of risk adjustment, and formation of evidence-based bundles and toolkits to facilitate measurement and improvement of HOB rates.
This survey investigated interventions used by acute-care hospitals to reduce the detection of asymptomatic bacteriuria. Half of the respondents reported using reflex urine cultures but with varied urinalysis criteria and perceived outcomes. Other diagnostic stewardship interventions for urine culture ordering and specimen quality were less common.
In 2017, we surveyed 101 SHEA Research Network hospitals regarding Legionnaires’ disease (LD). Of 29 respondents, 94% have or are developing a water management plan with varying characteristics and personnel engaged. Most LD diagnostic testing is limited to urine antigen testing. Many opportunities to improve LD prevention and diagnosis exist.
Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Despite a nationwide decline in CLABSI rates, individual hospital success in preventing CLABSI is variable. Difficulty in interpreting and applying complex CLABSI metrics may explain this problem. Therefore, we assessed expert interpretation of CLABSI quality data. DESIGN. Cross-sectional survey PARTICIPANTS. Members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network (SRN) METHODS. We administered a 10-item test of CLABSI data comprehension. The primary outcome was percent correct of attempted questions pertaining to the CLABSI data. We also assessed expert perceptions of CLABSI reporting.
The response rate was 51% (n=67).Among experts, the average proportion of correct responses was 73% (95% confidence interval [CI], 69%–77%). Expert performance on unadjusted data was significantly better than risk-adjusted data (86% [95% CI, 81%–90%] vs 65% [95% CI, 60%–70%]; P<.001). Using a scale of 1 to 100 (0, never reliable; 100, always reliable), experts rated the reliability of CLABSI data as 61. Perceived reliability showed a significant inverse relationship with performance (r=–0.28; P=.03), and as interpretation of data improved, perceptions regarding reliability of those data decreased. Experts identified concerns regarding understanding and applying CLABSI definitions as barriers to care.
Significant variability in the interpretation of CLABSI data exists among experts. This finding is likely related to data complexity, particularly with respect to risk-adjusted data. Improvements appear necessary in data sharing and public policy efforts to account for this complexity.