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To assist hospitals in reducing Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implemented a collaborative using the CDC CDI prevention strategies and the Targeted Assessment for Prevention (TAP) Strategy as foundational frameworks.
We invited 400 hospitals with the highest cumulative attributable differences (CADs) to the 12-month collaborative, with monthly webinars, coaching calls, and deployment of the CDC CDI TAP facility assessments. Infection prevention barriers, gaps identified, and interventions implemented were qualitatively coded by categorizing them to respective CDI prevention strategies. Standardized infection ratios (SIRs) were reviewed to measure outcomes.
Overall, 76 hospitals participated, most often reporting CDI testing as their greatest barrier to achieving reduction (61%). In total, 5,673 TAP assessments were collected across 46 (61%) hospitals. Most hospitals (98%) identified at least 1 gap related to testing and at least 1 gap related to infrastructure to support prevention. Among 14 follow-up hospitals, 64% implemented interventions related to infrastructure to support prevention (eg, establishing champions, reviewing individual CDIs) and 86% implemented testing interventions (eg, 2-step testing, testing algorithms). The SIR decrease between the pre-collaborative and post-collaborative periods was significant among participants (16.7%; P < .001) but less than that among nonparticipants (25.1%; P < .001).
This article describes gaps identified and interventions implemented during a comprehensive CDI prevention collaborative in targeted hospitals, highlighting potential future areas of focus for CDI prevention efforts as well as reported challenges and barriers to prevention of one of the most common healthcare-associated infections affecting hospitals and patients nationwide.
Data from the National Healthcare Safety Network were analyzed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) during 2021. Standardized infection ratios were significantly higher than those during the prepandemic period, particularly during 2021-Q1 and 2021-Q3. The incidence of HAI was elevated during periods of high COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (CDC NHSN) were analyzed to understand the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in acute-care hospitals. Descriptive analysis of the standardized infection ratio (SIR) was conducted by location, location type, geographic area, and bed size.
N95 respirators are personal protective equipment most often used to control exposures to infections transmitted via the airborne route. Supplies of N95 respirators can become depleted during pandemics or when otherwise in high demand. In this paper, we offer strategies for optimizing supplies of N95 respirators in health care settings while maximizing the level of protection offered to health care personnel when there is limited supply in the United States during the 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic. The strategies are intended for use by professionals who manage respiratory protection programs, occupational health services, and infection prevention programs in health care facilities to protect health care personnel from job-related risks of exposure to infectious respiratory illnesses. Consultation with federal, state, and local public health officials is also important. We use the framework of surge capacity and the occupational health and safety hierarchy of controls approach to discuss specific engineering control, administrative control, and personal protective equipment measures that may help in optimizing N95 respirator supplies.
Prevention of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is a national priority and may be facilitated by deployment of the Targeted Assessment for Prevention (TAP) Strategy, a quality improvement framework providing a focused approach to infection prevention. This article describes the process and outcomes of TAP Strategy implementation for CDI prevention in a healthcare system.
Hospital A was identified based on CDI surveillance data indicating an excess burden of infections above the national goal; hospitals B and C participated as part of systemwide deployment. TAP facility assessments were administered to staff to identify infection control gaps and inform CDI prevention interventions. Retrospective analysis was performed using negative-binomial, interrupted time series (ITS) regression to assess overall effect of targeted CDI prevention efforts. Analysis included hospital-onset, laboratory-identified C. difficile event data for 18 months before and after implementation of the TAP facility assessments.
The systemwide monthly CDI rate significantly decreased at the intervention (β2, −44%; P = .017), and the postintervention CDI rate trend showed a sustained decrease (β1 + β3; −12% per month; P = .008). At an individual hospital level, the CDI rate trend significantly decreased in the postintervention period at hospital A only (β1 + β3, −26% per month; P = .003).
This project demonstrates TAP Strategy implementation in a healthcare system, yielding significant decrease in the laboratory-identified C. difficile rate trend in the postintervention period at the system level and in hospital A. This project highlights the potential benefit of directing prevention efforts to facilities with the highest burden of excess infections to more efficiently reduce CDI rates.
Presenteeism, or working while ill, by healthcare personnel (HCP) experiencing influenza-like illness (ILI) puts patients and coworkers at risk. However, hospital policies and practices may not consistently facilitate HCP staying home when ill.
Objective and methods:
We conducted a mixed-methods survey in March 2018 of Emerging Infections Network infectious diseases physicians, describing institutional experiences with and policies for HCP working with ILI.
Of 715 physicians, 367 (51%) responded. Of 367, 135 (37%) were unaware of institutional policies. Of the remaining 232 respondents, 206 (89%) reported institutional policies regarding work restrictions for HCP with influenza or ILI, but only 145 (63%) said these were communicated at least annually. More than half of respondents (124, 53%) reported that adherence to work restrictions was not monitored or enforced. Work restrictions were most often not perceived to be enforced for physicians-in-training and attending physicians. Nearly all (223, 96%) reported that their facility tracked laboratory-confirmed influenza (LCI) in patients; 85 (37%) reported tracking ILI. For employees, 109 (47%) reported tracking of LCI and 53 (23%) reported tracking ILI. For independent physicians, not employed by the facility, 30 (13%) reported tracking LCI and 11 (5%) ILI.
More than one-third of respondents were unaware of whether their institutions had policies to prevent HCP with ILI from working; among those with knowledge of institutional policies, dissemination, monitoring, and enforcement of these policies was highly variable. Improving communication about work-restriction policies, as well as monitoring and enforcement, may help prevent the spread of infections from HCP to patients.
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.
Healthcare organizations are required to provide workers with respiratory protection (RP) to mitigate hazardous airborne inhalation exposures. This study sought to better identify gaps that exist between RP guidance and clinical practice to understand issues that would benefit from additional research or clarification.
Healthcare personnel (HCP) are at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from needlesticks and injuries from sharp objects. Risk factors for transmission of bloodborne pathogens as a result of occupational exposure are related to the source patient (e.g., titer and infectivity of the virus in his/her blood or body fluid), the injury (e.g., quantity of blood or body fluid transferred during the exposure), and the recipient individual (e.g., immunologic status).
Percutaneous exposures are the most common mechanism for transmission of bloodborne pathogens in healthcare settings. Hospital-based HCP in the United States are estimated to sustain an average of 384 325 (range: 311 091 to 463 922) percutaneous injuries annually. Data from several surveillance systems have demonstrated that the majority of reported injuries occur in the acute care setting, particularly medical floors, operating rooms, and intensive care units.
Prevention of bloodborne pathogen transmission through exposure prevention requires a diversified approach, including the development of improved engineering controls (e.g., safer medical devices), work practices (e.g., technique changes to reduce handling of sharp objects), and infection control measures, including use of personal protective equipment. Another important pre-exposure strategy to prevent infection includes HBV immunization.
Although preventing exposures is the primary means of preventing bloodborne pathogen infection, appropriate postexposure management is an important element of workplace safety. Healthcare organizations should have a system that includes written protocols for prompt confidential reporting, evaluation, counseling, treatment, and follow-up of any occupational exposures that may place HCP at risk for acquiring bloodborne infection. Each incident of occupational exposure to blood or body fluid that may contain HBV, HCV, or HIV should be evaluated as rapidly as possible and should include testing of the source patient for the appropriate bloodborne pathogens, testing of the exposed person for prior infection, and prompt administration of prophylactic agents when indicated.
Previously published guidelines are available that provide comprehensive recommendations for detecting and preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format designed to assist acute care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing their methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevention efforts. This document updates “Strategies to Prevent Transmission of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Acute Care Hospitals,” published in 2008. This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise. The list of endorsing and supporting organizations is presented in the introduction to the 2014 updates.
This report updates US Public Health Service recommendations for the management of healthcare personnel (HCP) who experience occupational exposure to blood and/or other body fluids that might contain human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Although the principles of exposure management remain unchanged, recommended HIV postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) regimens and the duration of HIV follow-up testing for exposed personnel have been updated. This report emphasizes the importance of primary prevention strategies, the prompt reporting and management of occupational exposures, adherence to recommended HIV PEP regimens when indicated for an exposure, expert consultation in management of exposures, follow-up of exposed HCP to improve adherence to PEP, and careful monitoring for adverse events related to treatment, as well as for virologie, immunologic, and serologic signs of infection. To ensure timely postexposure management and administration of HIV PEP, clinicians should consider occupational exposures as urgent medical concerns, and institutions should take steps to ensure that staff are aware of both the importance of and the institutional mechanisms available for reporting and seeking care for such exposures. The following is a summary of recommendations: (1) PEP is recommended when occupational exposures to HIV occur; (2) the HIV status of the exposure source patient should be determined, if possible, to guide need for HIV PEP; (3) PEP medication regimens should be started as soon as possible after occupational exposure to HIV, and they should be continued for a 4-week duration; (4) new recommendation—PEP medication regimens should contain 3 (or more) antiretroviral drugs (listed in Appendix A) for all occupational exposures to HIV; (5) expert consultation is recommended for any occupational exposures to HIV and at a minimum for situations described in Box 1; (6) close follow-up for exposed personnel (Box 2) should be provided that includes counseling, baseline and follow-up HIV testing, and monitoring for drug toxicity; follow-up appointments should begin within 72 hours of an HIV exposure; and (7) new recommendation—if a newer fourth-generation combination HIV p24 antigen-HIV antibody test is utilized for follow-up HIV testing of exposed HCP, HIV testing may be concluded 4 months after exposure (Box 2); if a newer testing platform is not available, follow-up HIV testing is typically concluded 6 months after an HIV exposure.
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