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Policies that promote conversion of antibiotics from intravenous to oral route administration are considered “low hanging fruit” for hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs. We developed a simple metric based on digestive days of therapy divided by total days of therapy for targeted agents and a method for hospital comparisons. External comparisons may help identify opportunities for improving prospective implementation.
We performed a cross-sectional survey of infection preventionists in 60 US community hospitals between April 22 and May 8, 2020. Several differences in hospital preparedness for SARS-CoV-2 emerged with respect to personal protective equipment conservation strategies, protocols related to testing, universal masking, and restarting elective procedures.
With concerns for presymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 and increasing burden of contact tracing and employee furloughs, several hospitals have supplemented pre-existing infection prevention measures with universal masking of all personnel in hospitals. Other hospitals are currently faced with the dilemma of whether or not to proceed with universal masking in a time of critical mask shortages. We summarize the rationale behind a universal masking policy in healthcare settings, important considerations before implementing such a policy and the challenges with universal masking. We also discusses proposed solutions such as universal face shields.
We analyzed antibiotic use data from 29 southeastern US hospitals over a 5-year period to determine changes in antibiotic use after the fluoroquinolone US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory update in 2016. Fluoroquinolone use declined both before and after the FDA announcement, and the use of select, alternative antibiotics increased after the announcement.
Fluoroquinolones are among the 4 most commonly prescribed antibiotic classes.1,2 Postmarketing reports of serious adverse events linked to fluoroquinolones include tendonitis, neuropathy, hypoglycemia, psychiatric side effects, and possible aortic vessel rupture, leading to safety label changes in July 2008 and August 2013.3 In July 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strengthened the “black box” warning following an initial safety announcement in May 2016, recommending avoidance of fluoroquinolones for uncomplicated infections such as acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, uncomplicated urinary tract infections, and acute bacterial sinusitis.4 Concerns over safety and the association with Clostridiodes difficile infection have led inpatient antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) to develop initiatives to promote avoidance of quinolones. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of the 2016 FDA “black box” update on inpatient antibiotic use among a cohort of southeastern US hospitals.
Hospital environmental surfaces are frequently contaminated by microorganisms. However, the causal mechanism of bacterial contamination of the environment as a source of transmission is still debated. This prospective study was performed to characterize the nature of multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) transmission between the environment and patients using standard microbiological and molecular techniques.
Prospective cohort study at 2 academic medical centers.
A prospective multicenter study to characterize the nature of bacterial transfer events between patients and environmental surfaces in rooms that previously housed patients with 1 of 4 ‘marker’ MDROs: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, Clostridium difficile, and MDR Acinetobacter baumannii. Environmental and patient microbiological samples were obtained on admission into a freshly disinfected inpatient room. Repeat samples from room surfaces and patients were taken on days 3 and 7 and each week the patient stayed in the same room. The bacterial identity, antibiotic susceptibility, and molecular sequences were compared between organisms found in the environment samples and patient sources.
We enrolled 80 patient–room admissions; 9 of these patients (11.3%) were asymptomatically colonized with MDROs at study entry. Hospital room surfaces were contaminated with MDROs despite terminal disinfection in 44 cases (55%). Microbiological Bacterial Transfer events either to the patient, the environment, or both occurred in 12 patient encounters (18.5%) from the microbiologically evaluable cohort.
Microbiological Bacterial Transfer events between patients and the environment were observed in 18.5% of patient encounters and occurred early in the admission. This study suggests that research on prevention methods beyond the standard practice of room disinfection at the end of a patient’s stay is needed to better prevent acquisition of MDROs through the environment.
We evaluated the ability of high-intensity visible violet light with a peak output of 405 nm to kill epidemiologically important pathogens. The high irradiant light significantly reduced both vegetative bacteria and spores at some time points over a 72-hour exposure period.
In this prospective study, we monitored 4 epidemiologically important pathogens (EIPs): methicillin-resistane Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), Clostridium difficile, and multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter to assess the effectiveness of 3 enhanced disinfection strategies for terminal room disinfection against standard practice. Our data demonstrated that a decrease in room contamination with EIPs of 94% was associated with a 35% decrease in subsequent patient colonization and/or infection.
To determine the feasibility and value of developing a regional antibiogram for community hospitals.
Multicenter retrospective analysis of antibiograms.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
A total of 20 community hospitals in central and eastern North Carolina and south central Virginia participated in this study.
We combined antibiogram data from participating hospitals for 13 clinically relevant gram-negative pathogen–antibiotic combinations. From this combined antibiogram, we developed a regional antibiogram based on the mean susceptibilities of the combined data.
We combined a total of 69,778 bacterial isolates across 13 clinically relevant gram-negative pathogen–antibiotic combinations (median for each combination, 1100; range, 174–27,428). Across all pathogen–antibiotic combinations, 69% of local susceptibility rates fell within 1 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate, and 97% of local susceptibilities fell within 2 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate. No individual hospital had >1 pathogen–antibiotic combination with a local susceptibility rate >2 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate. All hospitals’ local susceptibility rates were within 2 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate for low-prevalence pathogens (<500 isolates cumulative for the region).
Small community hospitals frequently cannot develop an accurate antibiogram due to a paucity of local data. A regional antibiogram is likely to provide clinically useful information to community hospitals for low-prevalence pathogens.
Patient days and days present were compared to directly measured person time to quantify how choice of different denominator metrics may affect antimicrobial use rates. Overall, days present were approximately one-third higher than patient days. This difference varied among hospitals and units and was influenced by short length of stay.
To summarize and discuss logistic and administrative challenges we encountered during the Benefits of Enhanced Terminal Room (BETR) Disinfection Study and lessons learned that are pertinent to future utilization of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection devices in other hospitals
Multicenter cluster randomized trial
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
Nine hospitals in the southeastern United States
All participating hospitals developed systems to implement 4 different strategies for terminal room disinfection. We measured compliance with disinfection strategy, barriers to implementation, and perceptions from nurse managers and environmental services (EVS) supervisors throughout the 28-month trial.
Implementation of enhanced terminal disinfection with UV disinfection devices provides unique challenges, including time pressures from bed control personnel, efficient room identification, negative perceptions from nurse managers, and discharge volume. In the course of the BETR Disinfection Study, we utilized several strategies to overcome these barriers: (1) establishing safety as the priority; (2) improving communication between EVS, bed control, and hospital administration; (3) ensuring availability of necessary resources; and (4) tracking and providing feedback on compliance. Using these strategies, we deployed ultraviolet (UV) disinfection devices in 16,220 (88%) of 18,411 eligible rooms during our trial (median per hospital, 89%; IQR, 86%–92%).
Implementation of enhanced terminal room disinfection strategies using UV devices requires recognition and mitigation of 2 key barriers: (1) timely and accurate identification of rooms that would benefit from enhanced terminal disinfection and (2) overcoming time constraints to allow EVS cleaning staff sufficient time to properly employ enhanced terminal disinfection methods.