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Background: Healthcare facilities have experienced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including limited personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies. Healthcare personnel (HCP) rely on PPE, vaccines, and other infection control measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections. We describe PPE concerns reported by HCP who had close contact with COVID-19 patients in the workplace and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Method: The CDC collaborated with Emerging Infections Program (EIP) sites in 10 states to conduct surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 infections in HCP. EIP staff interviewed HCP with positive SARS-CoV-2 viral tests (ie, cases) to collect data on demographics, healthcare roles, exposures, PPE use, and concerns about their PPE use during COVID-19 patient care in the 14 days before the HCP’s SARS-CoV-2 positive test. PPE concerns were qualitatively coded as being related to supply (eg, low quality, shortages); use (eg, extended use, reuse, lack of fit test); or facility policy (eg, lack of guidance). We calculated and compared the percentages of cases reporting each concern type during the initial phase of the pandemic (April–May 2020), during the first US peak of daily COVID-19 cases (June–August 2020), and during the second US peak (September 2020–January 2021). We compared percentages using mid-P or Fisher exact tests (α = 0.05). Results: Among 1,998 HCP cases occurring during April 2020–January 2021 who had close contact with COVID-19 patients, 613 (30.7%) reported ≥1 PPE concern (Table 1). The percentage of cases reporting supply or use concerns was higher during the first peak period than the second peak period (supply concerns: 12.5% vs 7.5%; use concerns: 25.5% vs 18.2%; p Conclusions: Although lower percentages of HCP cases overall reported PPE concerns after the first US peak, our results highlight the importance of developing capacity to produce and distribute PPE during times of increased demand. The difference we observed among selected groups of cases may indicate that PPE access and use were more challenging for some, such as nonphysicians and nursing home HCP. These findings underscore the need to ensure that PPE is accessible and used correctly by HCP for whom use is recommended.
Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
To describe nursing home staff experiences and perceptions of the factors that impact the sustainability of an antibiotic stewardship program (ASP).
Using a qualitative descriptive design, semistructured interviews with staff at 9 not-for-profit nursing homes with an established ASP were conducted and audio recorded. De-identified transcriptions of the interviews were coded using a sustainability framework and were analyzed to identify themes.
Interviews were conducted with 48 clinical and administrative staff to elicit their perceptions of the ASPs, and 7 themes were identified. ASPs were perceived to be resource intensive and “data driven,” requiring access to and interpretation of data that are not readily available at many nursing homes. Though motivated and committed, ASP champions felt that they could not single-handedly sustain the program. Attending to daily clinical needs (ie, “fires”) made it hard to progress beyond implementation and to reach step 2 of sustainability. Longstanding treatment habits by external prescribers and regulations were believed to impede ASP efforts. Partnerships with an external consultant with antibiotic stewardship expertise were considered important, as was the need for internal leadership support and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries. Participants felt that consistent and ongoing education on antibiotic stewardship at all staff levels was important.
Although many interconnected factors impact the sustainability of an ASP, nursing homes may be able to sustain an ASP by focusing on 3 critical areas: (1) explicit support by nursing home leadership, (2) external partnerships with professionals with antibiotic stewardship expertise and internal interprofessional collaborations, and (3) consistent education and training for all staff.