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Hand hygiene compliance rates were estimated using direct observations. An AHHMS, installed on 4 nursing units in a sequential manner, determined hand hygiene performance rates, expressed as the number of hand hygiene events performed upon entering and exiting patient rooms divided by the number of room entries and exits. Additional strategies implemented to improve hand hygiene included goal setting, hospital leadership support, feeding AHHMS data back to healthcare personnel, and use of Toyota Kata performance improvement methods. HAIs were defined using National Healthcare Safety Network criteria.
Hand hygiene compliance rates generated by direct observation were substantially higher than performance rates generated by the AHHMS. Installation of the AHHMS without supplementary activities did not yield sustained improvement in hand hygiene performance rates. Implementing several supplementary strategies resulted in a statistically significant 85% increase in hand hygiene performance rates (P < .0001). The incidence density of non–Clostridioies difficile HAIs decreased by 56% (P = .0841), while C. difficile infections increased by 60% (P = .0533) driven by 2 of the 4 study units.
Implementation of an AHHMS, when combined with several supplementary strategies as part of a multimodal program, resulted in significantly improved hand hygiene performance rates. Reductions in non–C. difficile HAIs occurred but were not statistically significant.
Depictions of eye images and messages encouraging compliance with social norms have successfully motivated behavioral change in a variety of experimental and applied settings. We studied the effect of these 2 visual cues on hand hygiene adherence in a cohort of hospital-based healthcare providers participating in an electronic monitoring and feedback program.
Prospective, quasi-experimental study utilizing an interrupted time-series design. Intervention placards depicting an image of eyes, a social norms message, or a control placard were placed near soap and alcohol-based hand-rub dispensers on 2 hospital units. Placards were alternated every 10 days. Hand hygiene opportunities and adherence rates were assessed electronically via the CenTrak Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution.
A total of 166 nurses and certified nursing assistants (74 on a medical-surgical unit and 92 on a progressive care unit) were monitored electronically over the 4-month study period. In total, 184,172 electronic observations were collected (110,903 on a medical-surgical unit and 73,269 on a progressive care unit). The median daily number of electronic observations was 1,471 (interquartile range, 1,337–1,584). The preintervention baseline hand hygiene adherence rate was 70%. No statistically significant increase in hand hygiene adherence was observed as a result of either intervention.
Displaying eye images or a social norms message in the hospital environment did not result in measurable improvements in HH adherence in a cohort of healthcare providers participating in an electronic monitoring and feedback program.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a significant burden on healthcare facilities. Universal gloving is a horizontal intervention to prevent transmission of pathogens that cause HAI. In this meta-analysis, we aimed to identify whether implementation of universal gloving is associated with decreased incidence of HAI in clinical settings.
A systematic literature search was conducted to find all relevant publications using search terms for universal gloving and HAIs. Pooled incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using random effects models. Heterogeneity was evaluated using the Woolf test and the I2 test.
In total, 8 studies were included. These studies were moderately to substantially heterogeneous (I2 = 59%) and had varied results. Stratified analyses showed a nonsignificant association between universal gloving and incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA; pooled IRR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.79–1.11) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE; pooled IRR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.69–1.28). Studies that implemented universal gloving alone showed a significant association with decreased incidence of HAI (IRR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.67–0.89), but studies implementing universal gloving as part of intervention bundles showed no significant association with incidence of HAI (IRR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.86–1.05).
Universal gloving may be associated with a small protective effect against HAI. Despite limited data, universal gloving may be considered in high-risk settings, such as pediatric intensive care units. Further research should be performed to determine the effects of universal gloving on a broader range of pathogens, including gram-negative pathogens.
Determine the effectiveness of a personal protective equipment (PPE)-free zone intervention on healthcare personnel (HCP) entry hand hygiene (HH) and PPE donning compliance in rooms of patients in contact precautions.
Quasi-experimental, multicenter intervention, before-and-after study with concurrent controls.
All patient rooms on contact precautions on 16 units (5 medical-surgical, 6 intensive care, 5 specialty care units) at 3 acute-care facilities (2 academic medical centers, 1 Veterans Affairs hospital). Observations of PPE donning and entry HH compliance by HCP were conducted during both study phases. Surveys of HCP perceptions of the PPE-free zone were distributed in both study phases.
A PPE-free zone, where a low-risk area inside door thresholds of contact precautions rooms was demarcated by red tape on the floor. Inside this area, HCP were not required to wear PPE.
We observed 3,970 room entries. HH compliance did not change between study phases among intervention units (relative risk [RR], 0.92; P = .29) and declined in control units (RR, 0.70; P = .005); however, the PPE-free zone did not significantly affect compliance (P = .07). The PPE-free zone effect on HH was significant only for rooms on enteric precautions (P = .008). PPE use was not significantly different before versus after the intervention (P = .15). HCP perceived the zone positively; 65% agreed that it facilitated communication and 66.8% agreed that it permitted checking on patients more frequently.
HCP viewed the PPE-free zone favorably and it did not adversely affect PPE or HH compliance. Future infection prevention interventions should consider the complex sociotechnical system factors influencing behavior change.
Describe the epidemiological and molecular characteristics of an outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)–producing organisms and the novel use of a cohorting unit for its control.
A 566-room academic teaching facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Solid-organ transplant recipients.
Infection control bundles were used throughout the time of observation. All KPC cases were intermittently housed in a cohorting unit with dedicated nurses and nursing aids. The rooms used in the cohorting unit had anterooms where clean supplies and linens were placed. Spread of KPC-producing organisms was determined using rectal surveillance cultures on admission and weekly thereafter among all consecutive patients admitted to the involved units. KPC-positive strains underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing.
A total of 8 KPC cases (5 identified by surveillance) were identified from April 2016 to April 2017. After the index patient, 3 patients acquired KPC-producing organisms despite implementation of an infection control bundle. This prompted the use of a cohorting unit, which immediately halted transmission, and the single remaining KPC case was transferred out of the cohorting unit. However, additional KPC cases were identified within 2 months. Once the cohorting unit was reopened, no additional KPC cases occurred. The KPC-positive species identified during this outbreak included Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae complex, and Escherichia coli. blaKPC was identified on at least 2 plasmid backbones.
A complex KPC outbreak involving both clonal and plasmid-mediated dissemination was controlled using weekly surveillances and a cohorting unit.
To compare the effects of empiric carbapenems versus cycling cefepime and piperacillin/tazobactam on the rates of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) colonization, bloodstream infections, and outcomes of patients admitted with acute leukemia.
Retrospective clinical study with VRE molecular strain typing and gastrointestinal microbiome comparison.
A regional referral center for acute leukemia.
342 consecutive patients admitted with newly diagnosed acute leukemia.
In September 2015, we changed our empiric antibiotic of choice for neutropenic fever from a carbapenem to the cycling regimen. We studied 214 consecutive patients during the carbapenem period and 128 during the cycling period. Surveillance for VRE stool colonization was conducted weekly. Representative stool samples were analyzed for VRE MLST types and changes in the composition and diversity of the fecal microbiota.
The change in empiric antibiotics was associated with a significant decrease in VRE colonization (hazard ratio [HR], 0.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27–0.66), a switch in the dominant VRE MLST types on the unit, and some modifications in the gastrointestinal microbiome. There were no differences in total gram-positive or gram-negative BSIs. During the carbapenem period, we observed higher absolute numbers of Candida spp and fewer ESBL BSIs, but these did not reach statistical significance. Patients during the carbapenem period had longer lengths of stay and durations of severe neutropenia and 10% higher hospital cost.
Carbapenem-sparing empiric antibiotic regimens may have advantages related to VRE ecology, gastrointestinal dysbiosis, duration of neutropenia, cost and length of stay.
Identify changes in the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance patterns of potentially pathogenic bacteria in urine cultures during a 2-year antimicrobial stewardship intervention program in nursing homes (NHs).
Before-and-after intervention study.
The study included 27 NHs in North Carolina.
We audited all urine cultures ordered before and during an antimicrobial stewardship intervention. Analyses compared culture rates, culture positive rates, and pathogen antimicrobial resistance patterns.
Of 6,718 total urine cultures collected, 68% were positive for potentially pathogenic bacteria. During the intervention, significant reductions in the urine culture and positive culture rates were observed (P = .014). Most of the identified potentially uropathogenic isolates were Escherichia coli (38%), Proteus spp (13%), and Klebsiella pneumoniae (12%). A significant decrease was observed during the intervention period in nitrofurantoin resistance among E. coli (P ≤ .001) and ciprofloxacin resistance among Proteus spp (P ≤ .001); however carbapenem resistance increased for Proteus spp (P ≤ .001). Multidrug resistance also increased for Proteus spp compared to the baseline. The high baseline resistance of E. coli to the commonly prescribed antimicrobials ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) did not change during the intervention.
The antimicrobial stewardship intervention program significantly reduced urine culture and culture-positive rates. Overall, very high proportions of antimicrobial resistance were observed among common pathogens; however, antimicrobial resistance trended downward but reductions were too small and scattered to conclude that the intervention significantly changed antimicrobial resistance. Longer intervention periods may be needed to effect change in resistance patterns.
Banked human milk (BHM) has inherent infectious risks, even when pasteurized. Because of the ubiquity of Bacillus cereus in the environment and its ability to resist the Holder pasteurization process, there is a concern that BHM might lead to severe B. cereus infections.
We reviewed observed and published cases to determine the potential causal role of BHM as the source of these infections.
Two infants in the province of Québec (Canada) developed a B. cereus neonatal infection, and both had received BHM. We conducted bacteriological studies to compare clinical isolates and those found in these cases.
After extended culture of BHM retention lots, B. cereus was found to have been involved in batches related to the first case. However, molecular typing showed that the strain was different from the clinical isolate, therefore excluding BHM as the source of contamination. In the second case, a Brevibacillus spp was isolated, a species distinct from the clinical isolate.
Based on these cases and others reported in the literature, a causal link between B. cereus contaminated BHM and preterm neonatal infection has never been documented. Therefore, the risk that BHM can cause this infection remains theoretical. Given the widespread presence of B. cereus in the hospital environment and its capacity to resist standard cleaning procedures, it seems likely that airborne or direct or indirect contact are the main sources of most, if not all, cases of severe B. cereus neonatal infections, even in babies exposed to BHM.
We compared the fluorescent gel removal rate using fewer high-touch surfaces (HTSs) and rooms and determined the optimum number of HTSs and rooms needed to ensure accuracy using 2,942 HTSs in 228 rooms on 13 units. Randomly selecting 3 HTS in 2 rooms predicted the optimal removal rate.
We implemented a cleaning process for mobile patient equipment (MPE) and determined its success using adenosine trisphosphate (ATP) monitoring and data feedback. Following education for staff and ATP data feedback, the data suggest that the MPE cleaning program we implemented was successful.
A nationwide survey indicated that screening for asymptomatic carriers of C. difficile is an uncommon practice in US healthcare settings. Better understanding of the role of asymptomatic carriage in C. difficile transmission, and of the measures available to reduce that risk, are needed to inform best practices regarding the management of carriers.
Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) has yielded new insights into the transmission patterns of healthcare facility-onset Clostridioides difficile infection (HO-CDI). WGS results prompted a focused diagnostic stewardship program, which was associated with a significant and sustained decrease in HO-CDI at large, urban hospital.
We evaluated the impact of an electronic health record based 72-hour antimicrobial time-out (ATO) on antimicrobial utilization. We observed that 6 hours after the ATO, 21% of empiric antimicrobials were discontinued or de-escalated. There was a significant reduction in the duration of antimicrobial therapy but no impact on overall antimicrobial usage metrics.
Starting in 2016, we initiated a pilot tele-antibiotic stewardship program at 2 rural Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs). Antibiotic days of therapy decreased significantly (P < .05) in the acute and long-term care units at both intervention sites, suggesting that tele-stewardship can effectively support antibiotic stewardship practices in rural VAMCs.
A survey of hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs was performed to validate core element achievement data from the National Healthcare Safety Network’s (NHSN) Patient Safety Component Annual Survey. In total, 89% of hospitals met all 7 core elements, compared to only 68% according to the NHSN survey.