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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has demonstrated the importance of stewardship of viral diagnostic tests to aid infection prevention efforts in healthcare facilities. We highlight diagnostic stewardship lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss how diagnostic stewardship principles can inform management and mitigation of future emerging pathogens in acute-care settings. Diagnostic stewardship during the COVID-19 pandemic evolved as information regarding transmission (eg, routes, timing, and efficiency of transmission) became available. Diagnostic testing approaches varied depending on the availability of tests and when supplies and resources became available. Diagnostic stewardship lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic include the importance of prioritizing robust infection prevention mitigation controls above universal admission testing and considering preprocedure testing, contact tracing, and surveillance in the healthcare facility in certain scenarios. In the future, optimal diagnostic stewardship approaches should be tailored to specific pathogen virulence, transmissibility, and transmission routes, as well as disease severity, availability of effective treatments and vaccines, and timing of infectiousness relative to symptoms. This document is part of a series of papers developed by the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America on diagnostic stewardship in infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship.1
To determine the proportion of hospitals that implemented 6 leading practices in their antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs). Design: Cross-sectional observational survey.
Advance letters and electronic questionnaires were initiated February 2020. Primary outcomes were percentage of hospitals that (1) implemented facility-specific treatment guidelines (FSTG); (2) performed interactive prospective audit and feedback (PAF) either face-to-face or by telephone; (3) optimized diagnostic testing; (4) measured antibiotic utilization; (5) measured C. difficile infection (CDI); and (6) measured adherence to FSTGs.
Of 948 hospitals invited, 288 (30.4%) completed the questionnaire. Among them, 82 (28.5%) had <99 beds, 162 (56.3%) had 100–399 beds, and 44 (15.2%) had ≥400+ beds. Also, 230 (79.9%) were healthcare system members. Moreover, 161 hospitals (54.8%) reported implementing FSTGs; 214 (72.4%) performed interactive PAF; 105 (34.9%) implemented procedures to optimize diagnostic testing; 235 (79.8%) measured antibiotic utilization; 258 (88.2%) measured CDI; and 110 (37.1%) measured FSTG adherence. Small hospitals performed less interactive PAF (61.0%; P = .0018). Small and nonsystem hospitals were less likely to optimize diagnostic testing: 25.2% (P = .030) and 21.0% (P = .0077), respectively. Small hospitals were less likely to measure antibiotic utilization (67.8%; P = .0010) and CDI (80.3%; P = .0038). Nonsystem hospitals were less likely to implement FSTGs (34.3%; P < .001).
Significant variation exists in the adoption of ASP leading practices. A minority of hospitals have taken action to optimize diagnostic testing and measure adherence to FSTGs. Additional efforts are needed to expand adoption of leading practices across all acute-care hospitals with the greatest need in smaller hospitals.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination rates of a large health system reflected their respective service areas but varied by work role. Nurse vaccination rates were higher (56.9%) and rates among nursing support personnel were lower (38.6%) than those of their communities (51.7%; P < .001). Physician vaccination rates were highest (71.6%) and were not associated with community vaccination levels.
This consensus statement by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA), the Association for Professionals in Epidemiology and Infection Control (APIC), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) recommends that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination should be a condition of employment for all healthcare personnel in facilities in the United States. Exemptions from this policy apply to those with medical contraindications to all COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States and other exemptions as specified by federal or state law. The consensus statement also supports COVID-19 vaccination of nonemployees functioning at a healthcare facility (eg, students, contract workers, volunteers, etc).
The extensive use of the urinalysis for screening and monitoring in diverse clinical settings usually identifies abnormal urinalysis parameters in patients with no suspicion of urinary tract infection, which in turn triggers urine cultures, inappropriate antimicrobial use, and associated harms like Clostridioides difficile infection. We highlight how urinalysis is misused, and suggest deconstructing it to better align with evolving patterns of clinical use and the differential diagnosis being targeted. Reclassifying the urinalysis components into infectious and non-infectious panels and interpreting urinalysis results in the context of individual patient’s pretest probability of disease is a novel approach to promote proper urine testing and antimicrobial stewardship, and achieve better outcomes.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a considerable impact on US hospitalizations, affecting processes and patient population.
To evaluate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) in hospitals.
We performed a retrospective study of CLABSIs and CAUTIs in 78 US 12 months before COVID-19 and 6 months during COVID-19 pandemic.
During the 2 study periods, there were 795,022 central-line days and 817,267 urinary catheter days. Compared to the period before the COVID-19 pandemic, CLABSI rates increased by 51.0% during the pandemic period from 0.56 to 0.85 per 1,000 line days (P < .001) and by 62.9% from 1.00 to 1.64 per 10,000 patient days (P < .001). Hospitals with monthly COVID-19 patients representing >10% of admissions had a National Health Safety Network (NHSN) device standardized infection ratio for CLABSI that was 2.38 times higher than hospitals with <5% prevalence during the pandemic period (P = .004). Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus CLABSIs increased by 130% from 0.07 to 0.17 events per 1,000 line days (P < .001), and Candida spp by 56.9% from 0.14 to 0.21 per 1,000 line days (P = .01). In contrast, no significant changes were identified for CAUTI (0.86 vs 0.77 per 1,000 catheter days; P = .19).
The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with substantial increases in CLABSIs but not CAUTIs. Our findings underscore the importance of hardwiring processes for optimal line care and regular feedback on performance to maintain a safe environment.
Background: Interventions to reduce unnecessary device use may select a higher-risk population, leading to a paradoxical increase in SIR for some high-performing facilities. The standardized utilization ratio (SUR) adjusts for device use for different units and facilities. We evaluated the performance of a population SIR (pSIR) metric compared to device SIR (dSIR) in the situations of increased, decreased, and no change in SUR for a large system. Methods: We evaluated hospitals that had a reduction, increase, and no substantial change (±5% relative change) in their SUR in FY2019 (July 2018–June 2019) compared to baseline FY2017 (July 2016–June 2017). The dSIR (defined as Σ observed events divided by Σ predicted events based on actual device days) and pSIR (defined as Σ observed events divided by Σ predicted events based on predicted device days). We calculated the cumulative attributable difference (CAD) for catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) for the same facilities based on dSIR and pSIR. Results: Overall, the system SUR dropped from 0.92 in 2017 to 0.85 in 2019 (7.3% decrease). Of the 48 hospitals included, 25 (52%) exhibited a drop, 13 (27%) exhibited an increase, and 10 (21%) had no change in SUR during 2019. For hospitals in which SUR decreased, the dSIR decreased by 15.9% from 0.88 to 0.74, and the pSIR decreased by 32.3% from 0.85 to 0.58 (Table 1). In 2019, the CAD for CAUTI to a target SIR of 1 was 133 for the dSIR compared to 181 for the pSIR, and 36% more events were avoided. Conclusions: The traditional SIR (dSIR) underestimated improvements in infection rates compared to the pSIR because it failed to account for reduced device utilization associated with infection prevention interventions. The pSIR accounts for overall risk of infection associated with device exposure in a population and better reflects the efficacy of prevention efforts compared to dSIR. The pSIR should be considered in situations in which interventions have led to substantial reductions in device use.
Background: Acute-care hospitals in the United States are required to submit 6 healthcare-associated infection (HAI) metrics to the CMS for reporting and performance purposes prior to payment. We examined the association between HAI rate trends and hospital-onset bloodstream infection (HO-BSI) rate trends across a large, multihospital health system. Methods: HO-BSI events were identified across 52 hospitals attributable to Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, or Candida spp using the NHSN Lab ID event definition of ≥day 4 of admission. We compared the performance from January 2016 to March 2019 for HO-BSI and the 6 NHSN-defined HAIs: central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), Clostridioides difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia, abdominal hysterectomy surgical site infections (SSIs), and colon SSI. We calculated 2 “infection composite scores” to account for the 6 HAIs based on all observed or predicted events (score 1) and an average of the 6 HAI standardized infection ratios (SIRs; score 2). We normalized both measures to 1 for a 12-months rolling baseline. We evaluated the HO-BSI rate change over time and compared it to the change in the infection score over the same period. We compared the change in the 12-month rolling rates of the 2 HAI scores and the HO-BSI rate. Results: During the 39-month period, 3,288 HO-BSI events occurred over 9,775,118 patient days. The source of HO-BSI events included S. aureus (33.5%), P. aeruginosa (10.2%), E. coli (19.7%), K. pneumoniae (13.8%), and Candida spp (22.8%). HO-BSI event rates decreased by 17.3% from 12-month rolling baseline to last 12 months (3.70 vs 3.06 per 10,000 patient days). Similarly, 7,648 HAI events were observed, with the source of events being Clostridioides difficile (57.0%), CAUTI (15.1%), CLABSI (12.8%), MRSA (7.0%), colon SSI (6.4%), and abdominal hysterectomy SSI (1.7%). The 2 HAI scores and the HO-BSI rate all showed a notable decrease from the 2016 baseline period (Fig. 1). The reductions in the HAI scores were both strongly correlated with the reduction in the HO-BSI rate, with the HAI score 1 having a stronger correlation (r = 0.949; P < .001) than was observed for HAI score 2 (r = 0.867; P < .001). Conclusions: Utilization of a HO-BSI measure may prove useful as a correlated but distinct marker of infection prevention improvement or trends. HO-BSI could be useful as an objective electronically obtainable measure to assist in the evaluation of performance within and across facilities.
Laboratory-identified bloodstream infections (LAB-ID BSIs) in recently discharged patients are likely to be classified as healthcare-associated community-onset (HCA-CO) infections, even though they may represent hospital-onset (HO) infections. A review of LAB-ID BSIs among patients discharged within 14 days revealed that 109 of 756 cases (14.4%) were HO infections. The BSI risk being misclassified as HCA CO may underestimate the hospital infection risk.
The device standardized infection ratio (SIR) is used to compare unit and hospital performance for different publicly reported infections. Interventions to reduce unnecessary device use may select a higher-risk population, leading to a paradoxical increase in SIR for some high-performing facilities. The standardized utilization ratio (SUR) adjusts for device use for different units and facilities.
We calculated the device SIR (calculated based on actual device days) and population SIR (defined as Σ observed events divided by Σ predicted events based on predicted device days), adjusting for the facility SUR for both central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) in 84 hospitals from a single system for calendar years 2016 and 2017.
The central-line SUR was 1.02 for 801,172 central-line days, with a device SIR of 0.76 and a population SIR of 0.78, a 1.6% relative increase. On the other hand, the urinary catheter SUR was 0.90 for 757,504 urinary catheter days, with a device SIR of 0.84 and a population SIR of 0.76, a 10.0% relative decrease. The cumulative attributable difference for CAUTI to a target SIR of 1 was −135.4 for the device SIR compared to −203.66 for the population SIR, a 50.8% increase in prevented events.
Population SIR accounts for predicted device utilization; thus, it is an attractive metric with which to address overall risk of infection or harm to a patient population. It also reduces the risk of selection bias that may impact the device SIR with interventions to reduce device use.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) has long been considered a preventable healthcare-associated infection. Many federal agencies, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and public and private healthcare organizations have implemented strategies aimed at preventing CAUTIs. To monitor progress in CAUTI prevention, the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) CAUTI metric has been adopted nationally as the primary outcome measure and has been refined over the past decades. However, this surveillance metric may underestimate infectious and noninfectious catheter harm. We suggest evolving to more inclusive performance metrics to better reflect quality improvement efforts underway in hospitals. The standardized device utilization ratio (SUR) provides a good surrogate for preventable catheter harm. On the other hand, a population-based metric that combines both standardized infection ratio (SIR) and SUR would address both infectious and noninfectious harm, while adjusting for population risk. Finally, electronically captured catheter-associated bacteriuria may contribute essential information on local testing stewardship.
We compared interventions to improve urinary catheter care and urine culturing in adult intensive care units of 2 teaching hospitals. Compared to hospital A, hospital B had lower catheter utilization, more compliance with appropriate indications and maintenance, but higher urine culture use and more positive urine cultures per 1,000 patient days.
Of 500 hospital-onset Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia events (58% methicillin-susceptible S. aureus [MSSA]; 42% methicillin-resistant S. aureus [MRSA]), we found no significant differences in S. aureus bacteremia rates between medium-sized and large hospitals. However, the proportion of S. aureus bacteremia caused by MSSA was greater in medium-sized hospitals and did not correlate with MRSA bacteremia.
Urinary catheters, many of which are placed in the emergency department (ED) setting, are often inappropriate, and they are associated with infectious and noninfectious complications. Although several studies evaluating the effect of interventions have focused on reducing catheter use in the ED setting, the organizational contexts within which these interventions were implemented have not been compared.
A total of 18 hospitals in the Ascension health system (ie, system-based hospitals) and 16 hospitals in the state of Michigan (ie, state-based hospitals led by the Michigan Health and Hospital Association) implemented ED interventions focused on reducing urinary catheter use. Data on urinary catheter placement in the ED, indications for catheter use, and presence of physician order for catheter placement were collected for interventions in both hospital types. Multilevel negative binomial regression was used to compare the system-based versus state-based interventions.
A total of 13,215 patients (889 with catheters) from the system-based intervention were compared to 12,104 patients (718 with catheters) from the state-based intervention. Statistically significant and sustainable reductions in urinary catheter placement (incidence rate ratio, 0.79; P=.02) and improvements in appropriate use of urinary catheters (odds ratio [OR], 1.86; P=.004) in the ED were observed in the system-based intervention, compared to the state-based intervention. Differences by collaborative structure in changes in presence of physician order for urinary catheter placement (OR, 1.14; P=.60) were not observed.
An ED intervention consisting of establishing institutional guidelines for appropriate catheter placement and identifying clinical champions to promote adherence was associated with reducing unnecessary urinary catheter use under a system-based collaborative structure.