Background: In 2018, the Maryland Department of Health, in collaboration with the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, created the Statewide Prevention and Reduction of Clostridioides difficile (SPARC) collaborative to reduce C. difficile as specified in Healthy People 2020. Methods: The SPARC collaborative recruited hospitals contributing most cases to statewide C. difficile standardized infection ratio (SIR), according to data reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). SPARC developed intervention bundles around 4 domains: infection prevention, environmental cleaning, and diagnostic and antimicrobial stewardship. Each facility completed a self-assessment followed by an on-site, day-long, peer-to-peer (P2P) evaluation with 8–12 SPARC subject matter experts (SMEs) representing each domain. The SMEs met with hospital executive leadership and then led 4 domain-based group discussions with relevant hospital team leaders. To identify policy and practice gaps, SMEs visited hospital inpatient units for informal interviews with frontline staff. In a closing session, SPARC SMEs, hospital executives, and team leaders reconvened to discuss preliminary findings. This included review of covert observation data (hand hygiene, personal protective equipment compliance, environmental cleaning) obtained by SPARC team 1–2 weeks prior. Final SPARC P2P written recommendations guided development of customized interventions at each hospital. SPARC provided continuous support (follow up phone calls, educational webinars, technical support, didactic training for antimicrobial stewardship pharmacists) to enhance facility-specific implementation. For every quarter, we categorized C. difficile NHSN data for each Maryland hospital into “SPARC” or “non-SPARC” based on participation status. Using negative binomial mixed models, we analyzed difference-in-difference of pre- and postincidence rate ratios (IRRs) for SPARC and non-SPARC hospitals, which allowed estimation of change attributable to SPARC participation independent of other time-varying factors. Results: Overall, 13 of 48 (27%) hospitals in Maryland participated in the intervention. The baseline SIR for all Maryland hospitals was 0.92, and the post-SPARC SIR was 0.67. The SPARC hospitals had a greater reduction in hospital-onset C. difficile incidence; 8.6 and 4.3 events per 10,000 patient days for baseline and most recent quarter, respectively. For non-SPARC hospitals, these hospital-onset C. difficile incidences were 5.1 preintervention and 4.3 postintervention. We found a statistically significant difference-in-difference between SPARC and non-SPARC hospital C. difficile reduction rates (ratio of IRR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.44−0.89; P = .01). Conclusions: The Maryland SPARC collaborative, a public health-academic partnership, was associated with a 25% reduction in the Maryland C. difficile SIR. Hospitals participating in SPARC demonstrated significantly reduced C. difficile incidences to match that of high-performing hospitals in Maryland.
Disclosure: Aaron Milstone, BD – consulting.