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Background: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are endemic in the Chicago region. We assessed the regional impact of a CRE control intervention targeting high-prevalence facilities; that is, long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs) and ventilator-capable skilled nursing facilities (vSNFs). Methods: In July 2017, an academic–public health partnership launched a regional CRE prevention bundle: (1) identifying patient CRE status by querying Illinois’ XDRO registry and periodic point-prevalence surveys reported to public health, (2) cohorting or private rooms with contact precautions for CRE patients, (3) combining hand hygiene adherence, monitoring with general infection control education, and guidance by project coordinators and public health, and (4) daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing. Informed by epidemiology and modeling, we targeted LTACHs and vSNFs in a 13-mile radius from the coordinating center. Illinois mandates CRE reporting to the XDRO registry, which can also be manually queried or generate automated alerts to facilitate interfacility communication. The regional intervention promoted increased automation of alerts to hospitals. The prespecified primary outcome was incident clinical CRE culture reported to the XDRO registry in Cook County by month, analyzed by segmented regression modeling. A secondary outcome was colonization prevalence measured by serial point-prevalence surveys for carbapenemase-producing organism colonization in LTACHs and vSNFs. Results: All eligible LTACHs (n = 6) and vSNFs (n = 9) participated in the intervention. One vSNF declined CHG bathing. vSNFs that implemented CHG bathing typically bathed residents 2–3 times per week instead of daily. Overall, there were significant gaps in infection control practices, especially in vSNFs. Also, 75 Illinois hospitals adopted automated alerts (56 during the intervention period). Mean CRE incidence in Cook County decreased from 59.0 cases per month during baseline to 40.6 cases per month during intervention (P < .001). In a segmented regression model, there was an average reduction of 10.56 cases per month during the 24-month intervention period (P = .02) (Fig. 1), and an estimated 253 incident CRE cases were averted. Mean CRE incidence also decreased among the stratum of vSNF/LTACH intervention facilities (P = .03). However, evidence of ongoing CRE transmission, particularly in vSNFs, persisted, and CRE colonization prevalence remained high at intervention facilities (Table 1). Conclusions: A resource-intensive public health regional CRE intervention was implemented that included enhanced interfacility communication and targeted infection prevention. There was a significant decline in incident CRE clinical cases in Cook County, despite high persistent CRE colonization prevalence in intervention facilities. vSNFs, where understaffing or underresourcing were common and lengths of stay range from months to years, had a major prevalence challenge, underscoring the need for aggressive infection control improvements in these facilities.
Funding: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (SHEPheRD Contract No. 200-2011-42037)
Disclosures: M.Y.L. has received research support in the form of contributed product from OpGen and Sage Products (now part of Stryker Corporation), and has received an investigator-initiated grant from CareFusion Foundation (now part of BD).
Background:Candida auris prevalence in Illinois, particularly in the metropolitan Chicago area, is high. The Illinois Department of Public Health recommends empiric contact precautions for patients with a tracheostomy or requiring mechanical ventilation from skilled nursing facilities (vSNFs) or long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs) who are admitted to an acute-care hospital. Cases of C. auris infection and colonization are reportable to the Illinois Extensively Drug Resistant Organism Registry (XDRO Registry). NorthShore University HealthSystem (NSUHS) actively screens adult intensive care unit (ICU) admissions from LTACHs and vSNFs for CA. Methods: NSUHS is a 4-hospital system located north of Chicago with 750 beds, 4 ICUs and ∼64,000 annual admissions. Beginning in April 2019, a composite axilla–groin swab was collected from all ICU LTACH or vSNF admissions. Composite swabs are cultured on Inhibitory Mold Agar. In July 2019, an ICU clinical case of C. auris was identified from a ventilated patient admitted from an outside hospital prompting the expansion of screening to include acute-care hospital transfers. To evaluate the value of screening criteria, a medical record review and retrospective query of the XDRO Registry was performed for all screened patients. Because cocolonization with carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPO) has been reported, CPO status was also queried. Results: Between April 1 and October 31, 2019, 70 patients were screened. Two screened patients did not meet the screening criteria (Fig. 1). No patients, with the exception of the clinical case, were found to be colonized with CA. The XDRO Registry query identified no patients with C. auris. Of the 70 patients, 9 (13%) had a CPO. Of those screened, 14 (20%) had a tracheostomy and/or mechanical ventilation (Table 1). Conclusions: Querying the XDRO registry at admission in combination with a medical record review appears adequate to identify patients admitted to a NSUHS ICU with C. auris and CPOs. Targeting patients admitted with a tracheostomy and/or mechanical ventilation may further reduce the number of screening cultures performed.
Background: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) account for >15% of hospital-acquired infections, resulting in increased length of stay and costs. Consequently, methods to improve indwelling urinary catheter (IUC) care and maintenance are warranted to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired CAUTIs. This study was a prospective quality improvement (QI) project to reduce CAUTIs using prepackaged cloths (ReadyCleanse by Medline Industries) and a simple, standardized cleaning process for care and maintenance of IUCs. Methods: This study is an ongoing QI project at NorthShore University HealthSystem, a 4-hospital system located north of Chicago, Illinois, with 750 beds and ∼64,000 annual admissions. The study consists of a 1.5-month staff training on proper product use (phase 1), followed by an intervention using the cloths for IUC care (phase 2). Each package contains 5 individual cloths corresponding to a simple, 5-step, cleansing protocol. IUC care and maintenance are performed twice daily on a routine basis and after each incontinent episode. Beginning July 2018, current practice (soap and wash cloth) was replaced with the ReadyCleanse cloths, and on August 1, 2018, data collection began. Adult patients admitted at all 4 NorthShore Hospitals with an IUC for >24 hours are enrolled in the study. From patient electronic health records, we collected patient demographics, reason for IUC insertion, days of catheter use, and development of CAUTI (according to the NHSN definition). During the intervention, observations of compliance and performance of catheter care were also performed. For the analysis described here, results for the first 14 months of the study were compared to CAUTI numbers from the 14-month period prior to the start of the study (February 2017–March 2018); the data presented represent ∼50% of the planned data collection. Results: As of September 30, 2019, 4,969 patients were prospectively enrolled in the study: 1,491 patients from hospital A, 1,451 from hospital B, 1,091 from hospital C, and 936 from hospital D. Patient demographics for the study cohort were 47% female, with a median age of 77 years and an average of 3.9 catheter days per patient. Systemwide, observational audits for compliance using the cloths averaged 95%. Upon completion of study month 14, 22 CAUTIs had been identified, compared to 26 CAUTIs for the comparison period, indicating a 15% reduction. Conclusion: Implementation of this simple, standardized alternative for IUC care is feasible on a large scale and may have potential for reducing CAUTI rates.
Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a frequent source of infection in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Due to the serious consequences associated with MRSA infections in neonates, much effort has been made to prevent and control epidemics in NICUs. Since 2006, our hospital has performed MRSA nasal surveillance screening of all newborns in the NICU in accordance with the recommendations of the Chicago-Area Neonatal MRSA Working Group. In 2017, a MRSA infection was identified in a newborn shortly after transfer from an outside hospital and who had an initial negative MRSA admission screen. As a result, we modified the admission screening process for all transfers from outside NICUs. Methods: The Evanston Hospital Infant Special Care Unit is a level 3 NICU in the northern suburbs of Chicago with 44 NICU beds and 450 admissions per year. Effective July 1, 2017, all NICU transfers have a nasal MRSA screen performed upon admission and after 48 hours. The transferred baby is placed on contact isolation until both screening results return negative. Nasal MRSA testing is performed using both PCR on the BD MAX MRSA Assay platform and is confirmed by culture using MRSA CHROMagar TM. Results: Between July 1, 2017, and October 31, 2019, 112 neonates were transferred from outside NICUs. Moreover, 105 (94%) had at least 1 MRSA screen completed and 99 (88%) had both MRSA screens completed. Of 99 with 2 screens, only 1 neonate had an initial positive nasal MRSA screen. Of the remaining 98 negative babies, none had a repeat positive nasal MRSA screen within 48 hours of admission. of 99 neonates with 2 serial admission MRSA screens, 82 (83%) were transferred within 48 hours of birth. In addition, 17 neonates were transferred >48 hours after birth, including the 1 MRSA-positive baby. Conclusions: In an attempt to identify all potential MRSA-positive neonates transferred to our NICU, we instituted a policy of 2 admission nares swabs. However, our data suggest that a single initial MRSA swab may be sufficient. If continued collection of a second screen is performed, it may be sufficient to screen babies who have been hospitalized for at least 48 hours prior to transfer, which eliminates 83% of admission testing and results in a cost savings.
Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are an increasing burden among healthcare facilities. We assessed facility-level perceived importance of and responses to various MDROs.
A pilot survey to assess staffing, knowledge, and the perceived importance of and response to various multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs)
Acute care and long-term healthcare facilities
In 2012, a survey was distributed to infection preventionists at ~300 healthcare facilities. Pathogens assessed were Clostridium difficile, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, multidrug-resistant (defined as bacterial resistance to ≥3 antibiotic classes) Pseudomonas, and extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli.
A total of 74 unique facilities responded, including 44 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and 30 acute care facilities (ACFs). While ACFs consistently isolated patients with active infections or colonization due to these MDROs, SNFs had more variable responses. SNFs had more multi-occupancy rooms and reported less specialized training in infection control and prevention than did ACFs. Of all facilities with multi-occupancy rooms, 86% employed a cohorting practice for patients, compared with 50% of those without multi-occupancy rooms; 20% of ACFs and 7% of SNFs cohorted staff while caring for patients with the same MDRO. MRSA and C. difficile were identified as important pathogens in ACFs and SNFs, while CRE importance was unknown or was considered important in <50% of SNFs.
We identified stark differences in human resources, knowledge, policy, and practice between ACFs and SNFs. For regional control of emerging MDROs like CRE, there is an opportunity for public health officials to provide targeted education and interventions. Education campaigns must account for differences in audience resources and baseline knowledge.
To describe the identification, management, and clinical characteristics of hospitalized patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) during the peak period of activity of the 2009 pandemic strain of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (2009 H1N1).
Retrospective review of electronic medical records.
Patients and Setting.
Hospitalized patients who presented to the emergency department during the period October 18 through November 14, 2009, at 4 hospitals in Cook County, Illinois, with the capacity to perform real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction testing for influenza.
Vital signs and notes recorded within 1 calendar day after emergency department arrival were reviewed for signs and symptoms consistent with ILI. Cases of ILI were classified as recognized by healthcare providers if an influenza test was performed or if influenza was mentioned as a possible diagnosis in the physician notes. Logistic regression was used to determine the patient attributes and symptoms that were associated with ILI recognition and with influenza infection.
We identified 460 ILI case patients, of whom 412 (90%) had ILI recognized by healthcare providers, 389 (85%) were placed under airborne or droplet isolation precautions, and 243 (53%) were treated with antiviral medication. Of 401 ILI case patients tested for influenza, 91 (23%) had a positive result. Fourteen (3%) ILI case patients and none of the case patients who tested positive for influenza had sore throat in the absence of cough.
Healthcare providers identified a high proportion of hospitalized ILI case patients. Further improvements in disease detection can be made through the use of advanced electronic health records and efficient diagnostic tests. Future studies should evaluate the inclusion of sore throat in the ILI case definition.
Describe the clinical and molecular epidemiology of incident Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) cases in Chicago area acute healthcare facilities (HCFs).
Design and Setting.
Laboratory, clinical, and epidemiologic information was collected for patients with incident CDI who were admitted to acute HCFs in February 2009. Stool cultures and restriction endonuclease analysis typing of the recovered C. difficile isolates was performed.
Two hundred sixty-three patients from 25 acute HCFs.
Acute HCF rates ranged from 2 to 7 patients with CDI per 10,000 patient-days. The crude mortality rate was 8%, with 20 deaths occurring in patients with CDI. Forty-two (16%) patients had complications from CDI, including 4 patients who required partial, subtotal, or total colectomy, 3 of whom died. C. difficile was isolated and typed from 129 of 178 available stool specimens. The BI strain was identified in 79 (61%) isolates. Of patients discharged to long-term care who had their isolate typed, 36 (67%) had BI-associated CDI.
Severe disease was common and crude mortality was substantial among patients with CDI in Chicago area acute HCFs in February 2009. The outbreak-associated BI strain was the predominant endemic strain identified, accounting for nearly two-thirds of cases. Focal HCF outbreaks were not reported, despite the presence of the BI strain. Transfer of patients between acute and long-term HCFs may have contributed to the high incidence of BI cases in this investigation.
To characterize the clinical outcomes of patients with bloodstream infection caused by carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii during a 2-state monoclonal outbreak.
Multicenter observational study.
Four tertiary care hospitals and 1 long-term acute care hospital.
A retrospective medical chart review was conducted for all consecutive patients during the period January 1, 2005, through April 30, 2006, for whom 1 or more blood cultures yielded carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii.
We identified 86 patients from the 16-month study period. Their mortality rate was 41%; of the 35 patients who died, one-third (13) had positive blood culture results for carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii at the time of death. Risk factors associated with mortality were intensive care unit stay, malignancy, and presence of fever and/or hypotension at the time blood sample for culture was obtained. Only 5 patients received adequate empirical antibiotic treatment, but the choice of treatment did not affect mortality.
Fifty-seven patients (66.2%) had a single positive blood culture result for carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii; the only factor associated with a single positive blood culture result was the presence of decubitus ulcers. Interestingly, during the study period, a transition from single to multiple positive blood culture results was observed. Four patients, 3 of whom were in a burn intensive care unit, were bacteremic for more than 30 days (range, 36–86 days).
To our knowledge, this is the first time a study has described 2 patterns of bloodstream infection with A. baumannii: single versus multiple positive blood culture results, as well as a subset of patients with prolonged bacteremia.
In 2002, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH; Chicago, Illinois) convened the Chicago-Area Neonatal MRSA Working Group (CANMWG) to discuss and compare approaches aimed at control of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). To better understand these issues on a regional level, the CDPH and the Evanston Department of Health and Human Services (EDHHS; Evanston, Illinois) began an investigation.
Survey to collect demographic, clinical, microbiologic, and epidemiologic data on individual cases and clusters of MRSA infection; an additional survey collected data on infection control practices.
Level III NICUs at Chicago-area hospitals.
Neonates and healthcare workers associated with the level III NICUs.
From June 2001 through September 2002, the participating hospitals reported all clusters of MRSA infection in their respective level III NICUs to the CDPH and the EDHHS.
Thirteen clusters of MRSA infection were detected in level III NICUs, and 149 MRSA-positive infants were reported. Infection control surveys showed that hospitals took different approaches for controlling MRSA colonization and infection in NICUs.
The CANMWG developed recommendations for the prevention and control of MRSA colonization and infection in the NICU and agreed that recommendations should expand to include future data generated by further studies. Continuing partnerships between hospital infection control personnel and public health professionals will be crucial in honing appropriate guidelines for effective approaches to the management and control of MRSA colonization and infection in NICUs.
We compared class I surgical-site infection (SSI) rates for new and experienced surgeons. Data showed that new surgeons in two surgical subspecialties associated with higher baseline SSI rates had rates higher than their experienced colleagues. They took longer in the operating room (OR), but did not operate on sicker patients. As the surgeons gained more experience (as measured by cumulative cases), their OR times and SSI rates decreased toward their colleagues'. New surgeons who perform infection-prone surgery may have higher SSI rates than more experienced colleagues until they gain experience. A new surgeon's SSI rate could be one factor considered in assessing competence.
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