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Background: Prescribing errors related to the COVID-19 oral antiviral agent nirmatrelvir-ritonavir have been reported and are primarily due to improper renal dosing and significant drug–drug interactions. These patient safety issues are particularly concerning in the long-term care facility (LTCF) population. The Nebraska Antimicrobial Stewardship Assessment and Promotion Program (ASAP) is a unique collaborative partnership involving the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Medicine, and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). ASAP is funded through the Nebraska DHHS healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance (HAI/AR) program and was established in 2016, with a primary focus of promoting safe and effective antimicrobial use in Nebraska. In 2022, ASAP developed a statewide pharmacist-led service to assist LTCFs in evaluating prescriptions for COVID-19 oral therapeutics. We studied the impact of ASAP pharmacist intervention on COVID-19 oral antiviral prescriptions. Methods: ASAP created a centralized LTCF treatment request process for oral antivirals. A REDCap survey hosted on a dedicated program webpage was used to collect requests for treatment submitted by any LTCF in Nebraska, including assisted living facilities. An ASAP pharmacist reviewed each survey submission for renal and hepatic function, drug–drug interactions, date of symptom onset, and ability to take oral medications. After pharmacist approval, delivery of the appropriate COVID-19 therapeutic to the LTCF was coordinated with the dispensing pharmacy. The pharmacists recorded the specific interventions for each treatment in the program database. Descriptive analyses were used to study the program impact. Results: In total, 630 courses of oral COVID-19 antivirals were administered to Nebraska LTCF residents through the ASAP program in 2022. The median patient age was 84 years, and 59% were female. Most dispensed courses (n = 410, 65%) needed pharmaceutical interventions upon review for 506 individual interventions. The most frequent intervention was to hold or adjust doses of concomitant medications in 205 patients (33%), followed by antiviral dose adjustment for renal function in 117 patients (19%), and selecting an alternative COVID-19 therapy due to drug–drug interactions in 108 patients (17%). COVID-19 therapeutic agents were changed upon ASAP intervention to be in compliance with the National Institute of Health COVID-19 treatment guidelines in 37 patients (6%). Conclusions: Pharmacist review of oral antiviral prescriptions for COVID-19 through a public health–supported initiative identified and prevented potential patient safety issues in LTCF residents. Future studies should analyze the impact of similar interventions on patient outcomes.
Background: Critical-access hospitals (CAHs) are required to meet the CDC 7 Core Elements of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs). CAHs have lower adherence to the core elements than larger acute-care hospitals, and literature defining which core-element deficiencies exist within CAHs as well as barriers to adherence is lacking. Methods: We evaluated 21 CAH ASPs (5 in Nebraska and 15 in Iowa) that self-identified as potentially deficient in the Core Elements, via self-assessment followed by in-depth interviews with local ASP team members to assess adherence to the CDC Core Elements for ASPs. Core-element compliance was rated as either full (1 point), partial (0.5), or deficient (0), with a maximum score of 7 per ASP. High-priority recommendations to ensure core-element compliance were provided to facilities as written feedback. Self-reported barriers to implementation were thematically categorized. Results: Among the 21 CAH ASPs, none fully met all 7 core elements (range, 2.5–6.5), with a median of 5 full core elements met (Fig. 1). Only 6 ASPs (28.6%) had at least partial adherence to each of the 7 core elements. Action (21 of 21, 100%) and leadership commitment (16 of 21, 76.2%) were the core elements with the highest adherence, and accountability (4 of 21, 19%) and education (9 of 21, 42.9%) were the lowest. The most frequent high-priority recommendations were to provide physician and pharmacist leader ASP training (19 of 21, 90.5%), to track antimicrobial stewardship interventions (12 of 21, 57.1%), and to provide or track educational activities (12 of 21, 57.1%) (Fig. 2). One-third of programs were recommended to establish a physician leader. The most commonly self-identified barriers to establishing and maintaining an ASP were a lack of dedicated resources such as time of personnel (15 of 20, 75%), lack of infectious diseases expertise and training (8 of 20, 40%), and electronic medical record limitations (5 of 20, 25%) (Fig. 3). Conclusions: CAH ASPs demonstrate several critical gaps in achieving adherence to the CDC Core Elements, primarily in training for physician and pharmacist leaders and providing stewardship-focused education. Further resources and training customized to the issues present in CAH ASPs should be developed.
In 21 antimicrobial stewardship programs in critical-access hospitals in Nebraska and Iowa that self-reported nonadherence to a CDC Core Element or Elements, in-depth program assessment and feedback revealed that accountability and education most needed improvement. Recommendations included providing physician and pharmacist training, tracking interventions, and providing education. Program barriers included lack of time and/or personnel and antimicrobial stewardship and/or infectious diseases expertise.
Background: In April 2019, Nebraska Public Health Laboratory identified an NDM-producing Enterobacter cloacae from a urine sample from a rehabilitation inpatient who had recently received care in a specialized unit (unit A) of an acute-care hospital (ACH-A). After additional infections occurred at ACH-A, we conducted a public health investigation to contain spread. Methods: A case was defined as isolation of NDM-producing carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) from a patient with history of admission to ACH-A in 2019. We conducted clinical culture surveillance, and we offered colonization screening for carbapenemase-producing organisms to all patients admitted to unit A since February 2019. We assessed healthcare facility infection control practices in ACH-A and epidemiologically linked facilities by visits from the ICAP (Infection Control Assessment and Promotion) Program. The recent medical histories of case patients were reviewed. Isolates were evaluated by whole-genome sequencing (WGS). Results: Through June 2019, 7 cases were identified from 6 case patients: 4 from clinical cultures and 3 from 258 colonization screens including 1 prior unit A patient detected as an outpatient (Fig. 1). Organisms isolated were Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 5), E. cloacae (n = 1), and Citrobacter freundii (n = 1); 1 patient had both NDM-producing K. pneumoniae and C. freundii. Also, 5 case patients had overlapping stays in unit A during February–May 2019 (Fig. 2); common exposures in unit A included rooms in close proximity, inhabiting the same room at different times and shared caregivers. One case-patient was not admitted to unit A but shared caregivers, equipment, and devices (including a colonoscope) with other case patients while admitted to other ACH-A units. No case patients reported travel outside the United States. Screening at epidemiologically linked facilities and clinical culture surveillance showed no evidence of transmission beyond ACH-A. Infection control assessments at ACH-A revealed deficiencies in hand hygiene, contact precautions adherence, and incomplete cleaning of shared equipment within and used to transport to/from a treatment room in unit A. Following implementation of recommended infection control interventions, no further cases were identified. Finally, 5 K. pneumoniae of ST-273 were related by WGS including carriage of NDM-5 and IncX3 plasmid supporting transmission of this strain. Further analysis is required to relate IncX3 plasmid carriage and potential transmission to other organisms and sequence types identified in this study. Conclusions: We identified a multiorganism outbreak of NDM-5–producing CRE in an ACH specialty care unit. Transmission was controlled through improved infection control practices and extensive colonization screening to identify asymptomatic case-patients. Multiple species with NDM-5 were identified, highlighting the potential role of genotype-based surveillance.
Disclosures: Muhammad Salman Ashraf reports that he is the principal investigator for a study funded by an investigator-initiated research grant.
The CDC recommends that consultant pharmacists support antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). We studied CDC-recommended ASP core elements implementation and antibiotic use in LTCFs before and after training consultant pharmacists. Methods: Between August 2017 and October 2017, consultant pharmacists from a regional long-term care pharmacy attended 5 didactic sessions preparing them to assist LTCFs in implementation of CDC-recommended ASP core elements. Training also included creating a process for evaluating appropriateness of all systemic antibiotics and providing prescriber feedback during their monthly mandatory drug-regimen reviews. Once monthly “meet-the-expert” sessions were held with consultant pharmacists throughout the project (November 2017 to December 2018). LTCF enrollment began in November 2017 and >90% of facilities joined by January 2018. After enrollment, consultant pharmacists initiated ASP interventions including antibiotic reviews and feedback using standard templates. They also held regular meetings with infection preventionists to discuss Core Elements implementation and provided various ASP resources to LTCFs (eg, antibiotic policy template, guidance documents and standard assessment and communication tools). Data collection included ASP Core Elements, antibiotic starts, days of therapy (DOT), and resident days (RD). The McNemar test, the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, generalized estimating equation model, and the classic repeated measures approach were used to compare the presence of all 7 core elements and antibiotic use during the baseline (2017) and intervention (2018) year.Results: In total, 9 trained consultant pharmacists assisted 32 LTCFs with ASP implementation. When evaluating 27 LTCFs that provided complete data, a significant increase in presence of all 7 Core Elements after the intervention was noted compared to baseline (67% vs 0; median Core Elements, 7 vs 2; range, 6–7 vs 1–6; P < .001). Median monthly antibiotic starts per 1,000 RD and DOT per 1,000 RD decreased in 2018 compared to 2017: 8.93 versus 9.91 (P < .01) and 106.47 versus 141.59 (P < .001), respectively. However, variations in antibiotic use were detected among facilities (Table 1). When comparing trends, antibiotic starts and DOT were already trending downward during 2017 (Fig. 1A and 1B). On average, antibiotic starts decreased by 0.27 per 1,000 RD (P < .001) and DOT by 1.92 per 1,000 RD (P < .001) each month during 2017. Although antibiotic starts remained mostly stable in 2018, DOT continued to decline further (average monthly decline, 2.60 per 1,000 RD; P < .001). When analyzing aggregated mean, antibiotic use across all sites per month by year, DOT were consistently lower throughout 2018 and antibiotic starts were lower for the first 9 months (Fig. 1C and 1D). Conclusions: Consultant pharmacists can play an important role in strengthening ASPs and in decreasing antibiotic use in LTCFs. Educational programs should be developed nationally to train long-term care consultant pharmacists in ASP implementation.
Funding: Merck & Co., Inc, provided funding for this study.
Disclosures: Muhammad Salman Ashraf and Scott Bergman report receipt of a research grant from Merck.
To study an outbreak of Mycobacterium mucogenicum bloodstream infections in an outpatient setting.
Outbreak investigation and retrospective chart review.
University outpatient clinic.
Patients whose blood cultures tested positive for M. mucogenicum in May or June 2008.
An outbreak investigation and a review of infection control practices were conducted. During the process, environmental culture samples were obtained. Isolates from patients and the environment were genotyped with the DiversiLab typing system to identify the source. Chart reviews were conducted to study the management and outcomes of the patients.
Four patients with sickle cell disease and implanted ports followed in the same hematology outpatient clinic developed blood cultures positive for M. mucogenicum. A nurse in the clinic had prepared intravenous port flushes on the sink counter, using a saline bag that was hanging over the sink throughout the shift. None of the environmental cultures grew M. mucogenicum except for the tap water from 2 rooms, 1 of which had a faucet aerator. The 4 patient isolates and the tap water isolate from the room with the aerator were found to have greater than 98.5% similarity. The subcutaneous ports were removed, and patients cleared their infections after a course of antibiotic therapy.
The source of the M. mucogenicum bacteremia outbreak was identified by genotyping analysis as the clinic tap water supply. The preparation of intravenous medications near the sink was likely an important factor in transmission, along with the presence of a faucet aerator.
An anonymous survey of 1143 employees in 17 nursing facilities assessed knowledge of, attitudes about, self-perceived compliance with, and barriers to implementing the 2002 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hand hygiene guidelines. Overall, employees reported positive attitudes toward the guidelines but differed with regard to knowledge, compliance, and perceived barriers. These findings provide guidance for practice improvement programs in long-term care settings.
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