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Background: Adults are at risk of being exposed to influenza from many sources. Healthcare personnel (HCP) have the additional risk of being exposed to ill patients.
To determine whether HCP were at higher risk than adults working in nonhealthcare roles (non-HCP).
Prospective cohort study.
Acute-care hospitals and other businesses in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Adults aged 18–69 years were enrolled for 1 or more of the 2010/2011, 2011/2012, and 2012/2013 influenza seasons. Swabs collected during acute respiratory illnesses were tested for influenza and pre- and postseason blood samples were tested for influenza-specific immune response.
The adjusted odds of influenza were similar for HCP and non-HCP (odds ratio [OR], 1.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63–2.63). Older adults and those vaccinated against influenza had lower odds, and those who shared their workspace and who used corrective eyewear had higher odds of influenza.
HCP and other working adults are at similar risk of influenza infection.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk of acquiring and transmitting respiratory viruses while working in healthcare settings.
To investigate the incidence of and factors associated with HCWs working during an acute respiratory illness (ARI).
HCWs from 9 Canadian hospitals were prospectively enrolled in active surveillance for ARI during the 2010–2011 to 2013–2014 influenza seasons. Daily illness diaries during ARI episodes collected information on symptoms and work attendance.
At least 1 ARI episode was reported by 50.4% of participants each study season. Overall, 94.6% of ill individuals reported working at least 1 day while symptomatic, resulting in an estimated 1.9 days of working while symptomatic and 0.5 days of absence during an ARI per participant season. In multivariable analysis, the adjusted relative risk of working while symptomatic was higher for physicians and lower for nurses relative to other HCWs. Participants were more likely to work if symptoms were less severe and on the illness onset date compared to subsequent days. The most cited reason for working while symptomatic was that symptoms were mild and the HCW felt well enough to work (67%). Participants were more likely to state that they could not afford to stay home if they did not have paid sick leave and were younger.
HCWs worked during most episodes of ARI, most often because their symptoms were mild. Further data are needed to understand how best to balance the costs and risks of absenteeism versus those associated with working while ill.
Antibiotic overuse has promoted growing rates of antimicrobial resistance and secondary antibiotic-associated infections such as Clostridium difficile (C. difficile). Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are effective in reducing antimicrobial use in the inpatient setting; however, the unique environment of the emergency department (ED) lends itself to challenges for successful implementation. Front-line ownership (FLO) methodology has been shown to be a potentially effective strategy for the implementation of inpatient ASPs through an iterative multi-pronged approach driven by front-line providers.
To determine whether a FLO approach to antimicrobial stewardship in the ED can alter antimicrobial usage.
Interventions were driven by ED physicians and facilitated by Infectious Diseases Division physicians from the hospital’s ASP using FLO principles. Measured end points included antibiotic usage in the ED as measured by defined daily doses, and rates of urine culture sent from the ED.
There was a step-wise significant reduction in the use of azithromycin (p=0.006), ceftriaxone (p=0.045), ciprofloxacin (p=0.034), and moxifloxacin (p=0.008). There was also a significant reduction in rates of urine cultures (p<0.001) by 2.26 urine cultures per 100 ED patient visits.
FLO offers a promising approach to successful implementation of an ASP in the ED. Future studies would be important to evaluate the generalizability of the FLO approach to ASP development in other EDs and to determine strategies to improve the sustainability of reductions in antimicrobial use.
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