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We analyzed the impact of a fluoroquinolone patient safety initiative on the weekly fluoroquinolone prescription rate in Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinics. We observed a significant initial but unsustained reduction. Such an initiative can function as an antimicrobial stewardship intervention; however, strategies to promote sustainability should be explored.
To directly observe healthcare workers in a nursing home setting to measure frequency and duration of resident contact and infection prevention behavior as a factor of isolation practice
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
Healthcare workers in 8 VA nursing homes in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington, and Texas
Over a 15-month period, trained research staff without clinical responsibilities on the units observed nursing home resident room activity for 15–30-minute intervals. Observers recorded time of entry and exit, isolation status, visitor type (staff, visitor, etc), hand hygiene, use of gloves and gowns, and activities performed in the room when visible.
A total of 999 hours of observation were conducted across 8 VA nursing homes during which 4,325 visits were observed. Residents in isolation received an average of 4.73 visits per hour of observation compared with 4.21 for nonisolation residents (P<.01), a 12.4% increase in visits for residents in isolation. Residents in isolation received an average of 3.53 resident care activities per hour of observation, compared with 2.46 for residents not in isolation (P<.01). For residents in isolation, compliance was 34% for gowns and 58% for gloves. Healthcare worker hand hygiene compliance was 45% versus 44% (P=.79) on entry and 66% versus 55% (P<.01) on exit for isolation and nonisolation rooms, respectively.
Healthcare workers visited residents in isolation more frequently, likely because they required greater assistance. Compliance with gowns and gloves for isolation was limited in the nursing home setting. Adherence to hand hygiene also was less than optimal, regardless of isolation status of residents.
Hand hygiene surveillance programs that rely on direct observations of healthcare worker activity may be limited by the Hawthorne effect. In addition, comparing compliance rates from period to period requires adequately sized samples of observations. We aimed to statistically determine whether the Hawthorne effect is stable over an observation period and statistically derive sample sizes of observations necessary to compare compliance rates.
Prospective multicenter cohort study.
Five intensive care units and 6 medical/surgical wards in 3 geographically distinct acute care hospitals.
Trained observers monitored hand hygiene compliance during routine care in fixed 1-hour periods, using a standardized collection tool. We estimated the impact of the Hawthorne effect using empirical fluctuation processes and F tests for structural change. Standard sample-size calculation methods were used to estimate how many hand hygiene opportunities are required to accurately measure hand hygiene across various levels of baseline and target compliance.
Exit hand hygiene compliance increased after 14 minutes of observation (from 56.2% to 60.5%; P < .001) and increased further after 50 minutes (from 60.5% to 66.0%; P < .001). Entry compliance increased after 38 minutes (from 40.4% to 43.4%; P = .005). Between 79 and 723 opportunities are required during each period, depending on baseline compliance rates (range, 35%–90%) and targeted improvement (5% or 10%).
Limiting direct observation periods to approximately 15 minutes to minimize the Hawthorne effect and determining required number of hand hygiene opportunities observed per period on the basis of statistical power calculations would be expected to improve the validity of hand hygiene surveillance programs.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(9):1163-1168
Contact precautions are a cornerstone of infection prevention but have also been associated with less healthcare worker (HCW) contact and adverse events. We studied how contact precautions modified HCW behavior in 4 acute care facilities.
Prospective cohort study.
Participants and Setting.
Four acute care facilities in the United States performing active surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Trained observers performed “secret shopper” monitoring of HCW activities during routine care, using a standardized collection tool and fixed 1-hour observation periods.
A total of 7,743 HCW visits were observed over 1,989 hours. Patients on contact precautions had 36.4% fewer hourly HCW visits than patients not on contact precautions (2.78 vs 4.37 visits per hour; P< .001 ) as well as 17.7% less direct patient contact time with HCWs (13.98 vs 16.98 minutes per hour; P = .02). Patients on contact precautions tended to have fewer visitors (23.6% fewer; P = .08). HCWs were more likely to perform hand hygiene on exiting the room of a patient on contact precautions (63.2% vs 47.4% in rooms of patients not on contact precautions; P< .001).
Contact precautions were found to be associated with activities likely to reduce transmission of resistant pathogens, such as fewer visits and better hand hygiene at exit, while exposing patients on contact precautions to less HCW contact, less visitor contact, and potentially other unintended outcomes.
An antimicrobial stewardship program was fully implemented at the University of Maryland Medical Center in July 2001 (beginning of fiscal year [FY] 2002). Essential to the program was an antimicrobial monitoring team (AMT) consisting of an infectious diseases-trained clinical pharmacist and a part-time infectious diseases physician that provided real-time monitoring of antimicrobial orders and active intervention and education when necessary. The program continued for 7 years and was terminated in order to use the resources to increase infectious diseases consults throughout the medical center as an alternative mode of stewardship.
A descriptive cost analysis before, during, and after the program.
A large tertiary care teaching medical center.
Monitoring the utilization (dispensing) costs of the antimicrobial agents quarterly for each FY.
The utilization costs decreased from $44,181 per 1,000 patient-days at baseline prior to the full implementation of the program (FY 2001) to $23,933 (a 45.8% decrease) by the end of the program (FY 2008). There was a reduction of approximately $3 million within the first 3 years, much of which was the result of a decrease in the use of antifungal agents in the cancer center. After the program was discontinued at the end of FY 2008, antimicrobial costs increased from $23,933 to $31,653 per 1,000 patient-days, a 32.3% increase within 2 years that is equivalent to a $2 million increase for the medical center, mostly in the antibacterial category.
The antimicrobial stewardship program, using an antimicrobial monitoring team, was extremely cost effective over this 7-year period.
To date, nearly all vegetation studies in New Zealand have been carried out in pristine to semi-natural systems. Thus, urban ecology in New Zealand is in its infancy as compared with the centuries of observation, documentation and mapping of vegetation, biotopes and natural history in urban areas of Europe (Gilbert,1989; Breuste et al., 1998; Sukopp, 2002; Breuste, Chapter 21; Florgård, Chapter 22; Wittig, Chapter 30) and 30-plus years of study in North America (Zipperer and Guntenspergen, Chapter 17). The relatively few studies of urban vegetation in the New World have typically focused on remnant natural systems enveloped by residential and commercial dwellings (Airola and Buchholz, 1984; Rudnicky and McDonnell, 1989; Kuschel, 1990; Molloy, 1995; McDonnell et al., 1997). Accordingly, there is a distinction to be made between the ecology of remnant primary ecosystems (those that retain at least some thread of biological and pedological continuity with the primeval system) and the ecology of synthetic or spontaneous recombinant systems on anthropogenic substrates (i.e. most vegetation in cities and towns). In New Zealand, we know quite a lot about natural forest, wetland and grassland vegetation, whether in National Parks or as remnants in cities (Wardle, 1991); but little about recombinant communities of cultural landscapes (that is, human-inhabited landscapes in the sense of Nassauer (1997)). They have been traditionally shunned in New Zealand because they almost totally comprise exotic, planted and/or weedy species.
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