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We evaluated antibiotic use in a private health insurance network in Bolivia with two different healthcare plans. The Health Maintenance Organization plan had 29% lower antibiotic consumption and fewer broad-spectrum antibiotics prescribed than the Preferred Provider Organization. Furthermore, we identified potential targets for future antibiotic stewardship efforts.
Exposure investigations are labor intensive and vulnerable to recall bias. We developed an algorithm to identify healthcare personnel (HCP) interactions from the electronic health record (EHR), and we evaluated its accuracy against conventional exposure investigations. The EHR algorithm identified every known transmission and used ranking to produce a manageable contact list.
To explore an approach to identify the risk of local prevalence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacterales (ESBL-E) on ESBL-E colonization or infection and to reassess known risk factors.
Johns Hopkins Health System emergency departments (EDs) in the Baltimore–Washington, DC, region.
Patients aged ≥18 years with a culture growing Enterobacterales between April 2019 and December 2021. Cases had a culture growing an ESBL-E.
Addresses were linked to Census Block Groups and placed into communities using a clustering algorithm. Prevalence in each community was estimated using the proportion of ESBL-E among Enterobacterales isolates. Logistic regression was used to determine risk factors for ESBL-E colonization or infection.
ESBL-E were detected in 1,167 of 11,224 patients (10.4%). Risk factors included a history of ESBL-E in the prior 6 months (aOR, 20.67; 95% CI, 13.71–31.18), exposure to a skilled nursing or long-term care facility (aOR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.37–1.96), exposure to a third-generation cephalosporin (aOR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.46–2.19), exposure to a carbapenem (aOR, 2.31; 95% CI, 1.68–3.18), or exposure to a trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (aOR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.06–2.25) within the prior 6 months. Patients were at lower risk if their community had a prevalence <25th percentile in the prior 3 months (aOR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.71–0.98), 6 months (aOR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.71–0.98), or 12 months (aOR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.68–0.95). There was no association between being in a community in the >75th percentile and the outcome.
This method of defining the local prevalence of ESBL-E may partially capture differences in the likelihood of a patient having an ESBL-E.
Central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) surveillance in home infusion therapy is necessary to track efforts to reduce infections, but a standardized, validated, and feasible definition is lacking. We tested the validity of a home-infusion CLABSI surveillance definition and the feasibility and acceptability of its implementation.
Mixed-methods study including validation of CLABSI cases and semistructured interviews with staff applying these approaches.
This study was conducted in 5 large home-infusion agencies in a CLABSI prevention collaborative across 14 states and the District of Columbia.
From May 2021 to May 2022, agencies implemented a home-infusion CLABSI surveillance definition, using 3 approaches to secondary bloodstream infections (BSIs): National Healthcare Safety Program (NHSN) criteria, modified NHSN criteria (only applying the 4 most common NHSN-defined secondary BSIs), and all home-infusion–onset bacteremia (HiOB). Data on all positive blood cultures were sent to an infection preventionist for validation. Surveillance staff underwent semistructured interviews focused on their perceptions of the definition 1 and 3–4 months after implementation.
Interrater reliability scores overall ranged from κ = 0.65 for the modified NHSN criteria to κ = 0.68 for the NHSN criteria to κ = 0.72 for the HiOB criteria. For the NHSN criteria, the agency-determined rate was 0.21 per 1,000 central-line (CL) days, and the validator-determined rate was 0.20 per 1,000 CL days. Overall, implementing a standardized definition was thought to be a positive change that would be generalizable and feasible though time-consuming and labor intensive.
The home-infusion CLABSI surveillance definition was valid and feasible to implement.
Access to patient information may affect how home-infusion surveillance staff identify central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). We characterized information hazards in home-infusion CLABSI surveillance and identified possible strategies to mitigate information hazards.
Qualitative study using semistructured interviews.
Setting and participants:
The study included 21 clinical staff members involved in CLABSI surveillance at 5 large home-infusion agencies covering 13 states and the District of Columbia. Methods: Interviews were conducted by 1 researcher. Transcripts were coded by 2 researchers; consensus was reached by discussion.
Data revealed the following barriers: information overload, information underload, information scatter, information conflict, and erroneous information. Respondents identified 5 strategies to mitigate information chaos: (1) engage information technology in developing reports; (2) develop streamlined processes for acquiring and sharing data among staff; (3) enable staff access to hospital electronic health records; (4) use a single, validated, home-infusion CLABSI surveillance definition; and (5) develop relationships between home-infusion surveillance staff and inpatient healthcare workers.
Information chaos occurs in home-infusion CLABSI surveillance and may affect the development of accurate CLABSI rates in home-infusion therapy. Implementing strategies to minimize information chaos will enhance intra- and interteam collaborations in addition to improving patient-related outcomes.
We compared the activity of 8 novel β-lactam and tetracycline-derivative antibiotics against a cohort of clinical carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) isolates and investigated the incremental susceptibility benefit of the addition of an aminoglycoside, fluoroquinolone, or polymyxin to the β-lactam agents to assist with empiric antibiotic decision making.
A collection of consecutive CRE clinical isolates from unique patients at 3 US hospitals (2016–2021) was assembled. Broth microdilution was performed to obtain antimicrobial susceptibility testing results. Mechanisms of carbapenem resistance were investigated through short-read and long-read whole-genome sequencing.
Of the 603 CRE isolates, 276 (46%) were carbapenemase producing and 327 (54%) were non–carbapenemase producing, respectively. The organisms most frequently identified were Klebsiella pneumoniae (38%), Enterobacter cloacae complex (26%), and Escherichia coli (16%). We obtained the following percent susceptibility to novel β-lactam agents: ceftazidime-avibactam (95%), meropenem-vaborbactam (92%), imipenem-relebactam (84%), and cefiderocol (92%). Aminoglycosides and the polymyxins provided greater incremental coverage as second agents, compared to fluoroquinolones. Amikacin and plazomicin exhibited the greatest additive value. Ceftazidime-avibactam, meropenem-vaborbactam, and cefiderocol were active against 94% of the 220 KPC-producing isolates. Cefiderocol was active against 83% of the 29 NDM-producing isolates. Ceftazidime-avibactam had 100% activity against the 9 OXA-48-like–producing isolates. Tigecycline had the highest activity compared to other tetracyclines against KPC, NDM, or OXA-48-like–producing isolates.
Selection among novel agents requires a nuanced understanding of the molecular epidemiology of CRE. This work provides insights into the comparative activity of novel agents and the additive value of a second antibiotic for empiric antibiotic decision making.
Antibiotic overuse is common in ambulatory care settings, underscoring the importance of outpatient antibiotic stewardship to ensure safe and effective antibiotic prescription. In response to this need, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed the AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use in Ambulatory Care. The Safety Program successfully assisted 389 outpatient practices across the United States to establish ambulatory antibiotic stewardship. Herein, we have used lessons learned from the AHRQ Safety Program to describe a step-by-step framework to assist practices with establishing antibiotic stewardship in the outpatient setting. Steps include obtaining support from practice leadership; establishing an antibiotic stewardship team; garnering support from practice members; determining how to access antibiotic prescribing data; building communication skills around antibiotic use in the practice; implementing educational content around an infectious syndrome; monitoring antibiotic prescription data; and implementing a sustainability plan.
Implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) in well-resourced countries has been associated with reductions in antibiotic-resistant infections and improved patient outcomes. Several guidance documents providing recommendations on how to structure antimicrobial stewardship activities at the national and hospital level in resource-limited settings have been published. However, few hospitals in Latin America report having a structure or resources needed for a successful ASP. Given the alarming increases in antimicrobial resistance in Latin America, better understanding of barriers to promote implementation of effective ASPs is urgently needed. We have summarized past and present antimicrobial stewardship activities in Latin American hospitals, and we describe key elements needed in future efforts to strengthen antimicrobial stewardship in the region.
The optimal timing of blood culture (BCx) sets collection has not been evaluated with continuous BCx detection systems. The yield of BCx was similar between short intervals (median, 3 minutes) and longer intervals (median, 16 or 43 minutes) among 5,856 BCx, except for improved polymicrobial bacteremia detection with long-interval BCx.
Severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmissions among healthcare workers and hospitalized patients are challenging to confirm. Investigation of infected persons often reveals multiple potential risk factors for viral acquisition. We combined exposure investigation with genomic analysis confirming 2 hospital-based clusters. Prolonged close contact with unmasked, unrecognized infectious, individuals was a common risk.
To reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory infections (ARIs) by employing peer comparison with behavioral feedback in the emergency department (ED).
A controlled before-and-after study.
The study was conducted in 5 adult EDs at teaching and community hospitals in a health system.
Adults presenting to the ED with a respiratory condition diagnosis code. Hospitalized patients and those with a diagnosis code for a non-respiratory condition for which antibiotics are or may be warranted were excluded.
After a baseline period from January 2016 to March 2018, 3 EDs implemented a feedback intervention with peer comparison between April 2018 and December 2019 for attending physicians. Also, 2 EDs in the health system served as controls. Using interrupted time series analysis, the inappropriate ARI prescribing rate was calculated as the proportion of antibiotic-inappropriate ARI encounters with a prescription. Prescribing rates were also evaluated for all ARIs. Attending physicians at intervention sites received biannual e-mails with their inappropriate prescribing rate and had access to a dashboard that was updated daily showing their performance relative to their peers.
Among 28,544 ARI encounters, the inappropriate prescribing rate remained stable at the control EDs between the 2 periods (23.0% and 23.8%). At the intervention sites, the inappropriate prescribing rate decreased significantly from 22.0% to 15.2%. Between periods, the overall ARI prescribing rate was 38.1% and 40.6% in the control group and 35.9% and 30.6% in the intervention group.
Behavioral feedback with peer comparison can be implemented effectively in the ED to reduce inappropriate prescribing for ARIs.
We analyzed the impact of a 7-day recurring asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 testing protocol for all patients hospitalized at a large academic center. Overall, 40 new cases were identified, and 1 of 3 occurred after 14 days of hospitalization. Recurring testing can identify unrecognized infections, especially during periods of elevated community transmission.
To evaluate the role of procalcitonin (PCT) results in antibiotic decisions for COVID-19 patients at hospital presentation.
Design, setting, and participants:
Multicenter retrospective observational study of patients ≥18 years hospitalized due to COVID-19 at the Johns Hopkins Health system. Patients who were transferred from another facility with >24 hours stay and patients who died within 48 hours of hospitalization were excluded.
Elevated PCT values were determined based on each hospital’s definition. Antibiotic therapy and PCT results were evaluated for patients with no evidence of bacterial community-acquired pneumonia (bCAP) and patients with confirmed, probable, or possible bCAP. The added value of PCT testing to clinical criteria in detecting bCAP was evaluated using receiving operating curve characteristics (ROC).
Of 962 patients, 611 (64%) received a PCT test. ROC curves for clinical criteria and clinical criteria plus PCT test were similar (at 0.5 ng/mL and 0.25 ng/mL). By bCAP group, median initial PCT values were 0.58 ng/mL (interquartile range [IQR], 0.24–1.14), 0.23 ng/mL (IQR, 0.1–0.63), and 0.15 ng/mL (IQR, 0.09–0.35) for proven/probable, possible, and no bCAP groups, respectively. Among patients without bCAP, an elevated PCT level was associated with 1.8 additional days of CAP therapy (95% CI, 1.01–2.75; P < .01) compared to patients with a negative PCT result after adjusting for potential confounders. Duration of CAP therapy was similar between patients without a PCT test ordered and a low PCT level for no bCAP and possible bCAP groups.
PCT results may be abnormal in COVID-19 patients without bCAP and may result in receipt of unnecessary antibiotics.
In a multicenter cohort of 963 adults hospitalized due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), 5% had a proven hospital-acquired infection (HAI) and 21% had a proven, probable, or possible HAI. Risk factors for proven or probable HAIs included intensive care unit admission, dexamethasone use, severe COVID-19, heart failure, and antibiotic exposure upon admission.
Physical distancing among healthcare workers (HCWs) is an essential strategy in preventing HCW-to-HCWs transmission of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
To understand barriers to physical distancing among HCWs on an inpatient unit and identify strategies for improvement.
Qualitative study including observations and semistructured interviews conducted over 3 months.
A non–COVID-19 adult general medical unit in an academic tertiary-care hospital.
HCWs based on the unit.
We performed a qualitative study in which we (1) observed HCW activities and proximity to each other on the unit during weekday shifts July–October 2020 and (2) conducted semi-structured interviews of HCWs to understand their experiences with and perspectives of physical distancing in the hospital. Qualitative data were coded based on a human-factors engineering model.
We completed 25 hours of observations and 20 HCW interviews. High-risk interactions often occurred during handoffs of care at shift changes and patient rounds, when HCWs gathered regularly in close proximity for at least 15 minutes. Identified barriers included spacing and availability of computers, the need to communicate confidential patient information, and the desire to maintain relationships at work.
Physical distancing can be improved in hospitals by restructuring computer workstations, work rooms, and break rooms; applying visible cognitive aids; adapting shift times; and supporting rounds and meetings with virtual conferencing. Additional strategies to promote staff adherence to physical distancing include rewarding positive behaviors, having peer leaders model physical distancing, and encouraging additional safe avenues for social connection at a safe distance.
In a qualitative study of healthcare workers and patients discharged on oral antibiotics, we identified 5 barriers to antibiotic decision making at hospital discharge: clinician perceptions of patient expectations, diagnostic uncertainty, attending physician–led versus multidisciplinary team culture, not accounting for total antibiotic duration, and need for discharge prior to complete data.
Hospital antibiotic use in Argentina has not been described. We present results of point prevalence surveys on antibiotic use conducted in 109 Argentinian hospitals in November 2018 and submitted to the National Program of Epidemiology and Control of Hospital-Acquired Infections, and we discuss potential areas for improvement.