To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Background: Traditional hospital outbreak-detection methods are typically limited to select multidrug-resistant pathogens in a single unit, which can miss transmission of many medically important healthcare-transmissible pathogens. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) enables comprehensive genomic resolution for accurate identification of clonal transmission. Previously, lack of scalability limited the use of WGS for hospital surveillance. Methods: We conducted prospective surveillance of select bacteria from all inpatient clinical cultures plus all bacteria from clinical cultures from ICUs and oncology units at the University of California Irvine (UCI) Clinical Microbiology Laboratory from September 2021 to February 2022. Due to pandemic stressors, this pilot test was a prelude to a real-time demonstration project. Its goal was to demonstrate the efficiency and scalability of the WGS platform when receiving samples monthly and analyzing results quarterly without the intent for real-time response. Bacterial isolates slated for discard were collected weekly and sent monthly to Day Zero Diagnostics for sequencing. In total, 1,036 samples from 926 patients were analyzed for genomic relatedness, a scalable and automated analysis pipeline already in use for rapid (days) characterization of genomic-relatedness in small and large sets of isolates. Mapping and SNP calling was performed against high-quality, best-match reference genomes. Sets of samples with pairwise distance of 2 persons with genomically related isolates and were denoted as “clusters.” Separately, we also investigated within-patient diversity by quantifying the genomic relatedness of isolates collected from individual patients. Results: Isolates represented 28 distinct species. We identified 10 Escherichia coli clusters (range, 2–4 patients; median, 2 patients), 2 Klebsiella pneumoniae clusters (range, 2–4 patients), and 1 Enterococcus faecium cluster (3 patients). All but 1 involved genomically matched isolates from multiple hospital locations. There were 4 Escherichia coli ST131 clusters spanning 4 months, including 1 with 4 patients across 3 different hospital locations. At a species level, there were distinct differences between the observed SNP distances between samples isolated from the same versus different patients (Fig. 1). All identified clusters had not been flagged by routine outbreak detection methods used by the UCI infection prevention program. Conclusions: Comprehensive WGS-based surveillance of hospital clinical isolates identified multiple potential transmission events between patients not in the same unit at the time cultures were taken. Combining WGS detection and real-time epidemiologic investigation may identify new avenues of transmission risk and could provide early warnings of clonal transmission to prevent larger outbreaks. High-volume surveillance of hospital isolates can also provide species- and context-specific clonality.
Financial support: This study was funded by Day Zero Diagnostics.
Background: Oncology patients are at high risk for bloodstream infection (BSI) due to immunosuppression and frequent use of central venous catheters. Surveillance in this population is largely relegated to inpatient settings and limited data are available describing community burden. We evaluated rates of BSI, clinic or emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalizations in a large cohort of oncology outpatients with peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs). Methods: In this prospective, observational study, we followed a convenience sample of adults (age>18) with PICCs at a large academic outpatient oncology clinic for 35 months between July 2015 and November 2018. We assessed demographics, malignancy type, PICC insertion and removal dates, history of prior PICC, and line duration. Outcomes included BSI events (defined as >1 positive blood cultures or >2 positive blood cultures if coagulase-negative Staphylococcus), ED visits (without hospitalization), and unplanned hospitalizations (excluding scheduled chemotherapy hospitalizations). We used χ2 analyses to compare the frequency of categorical outcomes, and we used unpaired t tests to assess differences in means of continuous variable in hematologic versus solid-tumor malignancy patients. We used generalized linear mixed-effects models to assess differences in BSI (clustered by patient) separately for gram-positive and gram-negative BSI outcomes. Results: Among 478 patients with 658 unique PICC lines and 64,190 line days, 271 patients (413 lines) had hematologic malignancy and 207 patients (232 lines) had solid-tumor malignancy. Cohort characteristics and outcomes stratified by malignancy type are shown in Table 1. Compared to those with hematologic malignancy, solid-tumor patients were older, had 47% fewer clinic visits, and had 32% lower frequency of prior PICC lines. Overall, there were 75 BSI events (12%; 1.2 per 1,000 catheter days). We detected no significant difference in BSI rates when comparing solid-tumor versus hematologic malignancies (P = 0.20); BSIs with gram-positive pathogen were 69% higher in patients with solid tumors. Gram-negative BSIs were 41% higher in patients with hematologic malignancy. Solid-tumor malignancy was associated with 4.5-fold higher odds of developing BSI with gram-positive pathogen (OR, 4.48; 95% CI, 1.60–12.60; P = .005) compared to those with hematologic malignancy, after adjusting for age, sex, history of prior PICC, and line duration. Differences in gram-negative BSI were not significant on multivariate analysis. Conclusions: The burden of all-cause BSIs in cancer clinic adults with PICC lines was 12% or 1.2 per 1,000 catheter days, as high as nationally reported inpatient BSI rates. Higher risk of gram-positive BSIs in solid-tumor patients suggests the need for targeted infection prevention activities in this population, such as improvements in central-line monitoring, outpatient care, and maintenance of lines and/or dressings, as well as chlorhexidine bathing to reduce skin bioburden.
Background: Recognizing problematic central-line insertion sites is an important activity for CNAs, LVNs, and RNs in nursing homes (NHs). Although CNAs are not responsible for assessing central lines, they are often the first line of defense for noticing and relaying problems with a line because of the greater amount of time they spend with residents. We sought to assess how well CNAs, LVNs, and RNs could identify problematic insertion sites in NHs. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study of central-line care in 8 NHs in Orange County, California. A convenience sample of central lines with a range of problematic elements was selected for quality improvement purposes. Research staff used standardized observation forms to evaluate presence of redness, cloudy drainage, and dressing integrity and change date. NH CNAs, LVNs, and RNs were asked to directly observe devices and to comment on problems or concerns. Participants were also asked open-ended questions about elements for a “picture-perfect line” and standard frequency of line checks and dressing changes. Failures to recognize existing problematic elements were tabulated for CNAs and LVNs or RNs separately. Results: In total, 50 CNAs (nursing home range, 3–6) and 50 LVNs and RNs (NH range, 4–6) directly observed lines with 131 problematic elements, including redness (N = 36), cloudy drainage (N = 30), peeling dressings (N = 29), and inappropriately dated dressing (N = 36). Failure to identify problematic elements involved redness [CNAs (50%) and LVNs or RNs (53%)], cloudy drainage [CNAs (40%) and LVNs or RNs (39%)], peeling dressings [CNAs (100%) and LVNs or RNs (87%)], and inappropriately dated dressing [CNAs (71%) and LVNs or RNs (68%)]. For both CNAs and LVNs and RNs, recognition of redness and cloudy drainage improved with severity. Failure to recognize minimal erythema [CNAs (83%) and LVNs or RNs (58%)] was higher than substantial erythema [CNAs (54%) and LVNs or RNs (50%)]. Similarly, failure to recognize minimal cloudy drainage [(CNAs (67%) and LVNs or RNs (50%)] was higher than substantial cloudy drainage [CNAs (42%) and LVNs or RNs (36%)]. Overall, identification of problematic elements did not vary by whether the staff member was assigned to care for that resident. Descriptions of “picture-perfect lines” were uniformly poor, with respondents not knowing what elements to mention. Conclusions: Failure to recognize redness, cloudy drainage, peeling dressings, and lapses in dressing change dates was common for CNAs and LVNs and RNs in nursing homes. This lack of recognition could prevent proper response to early and late signs of localized infection at central-line sites. Dedicated training regarding key elements of a “picture-perfect line” is needed, including changing the threshold for concern for both small and large amounts of redness and pus.
Infection prevention program leaders report frequent use of criteria to distinguish recently recovered coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases from actively infectious cases when incidentally positive asymptomatic patients were identified on routine severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Guidance on appropriate interpretation of high-sensitivity molecular tests can prevent harm from unnecessary precautions that delay admission and impede medical care.
To assess whether measurement and feedback of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) skin concentrations can improve CHG bathing practice across multiple intensive care units (ICUs).
A before-and-after quality improvement study measuring patient CHG skin concentrations during 6 point-prevalence surveys (3 surveys each during baseline and intervention periods).
The study was conducted across 7 geographically diverse ICUs with routine CHG bathing.
Adult patients in the medical ICU.
CHG skin concentrations were measured at the neck, axilla, and inguinal region using a semiquantitative colorimetric assay. Aggregate unit-level CHG skin concentration measurements from the baseline period and each intervention period survey were reported back to ICU leadership, which then used routine education and quality improvement activities to improve CHG bathing practice. We used multilevel linear models to assess the impact of intervention on CHG skin concentrations.
We enrolled 681 (93%) of 736 eligible patients; 92% received a CHG bath prior to survey. At baseline, CHG skin concentrations were lowest on the neck, compared to axillary or inguinal regions (P < .001). CHG was not detected on 33% of necks, 19% of axillae, and 18% of inguinal regions (P < .001 for differences in body sites). During the intervention period, ICUs that used CHG-impregnated cloths had a 3-fold increase in patient CHG skin concentrations as compared to baseline (P < .001).
Routine CHG bathing performance in the ICU varied across multiple hospitals. Measurement and feedback of CHG skin concentrations can be an important tool to improve CHG bathing practice.
In a survey of infection prevention programs, leaders reported frequent clinical and infection prevention practice modifications to avoid coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) exposure that exceeded national guidance. Future pandemic responses should emphasize balanced approaches to precautions, prioritize educational campaigns to manage safety concerns, and generate an evidence-base that can guide appropriate infection prevention practices.
Persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are prone to receiving reduced quality of care. We compared the quality of room cleaning of rooms with ADRD residents and rooms with non-ADRD residents in nursing homes using an ultraviolet (UV) marker. ADRD status was associated with greater failure of UV marker removal (odds ratio, 1.68; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–2.71; P = .03).
To describe the genomic analysis and epidemiologic response related to a slow and prolonged methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreak.
Prospective observational study.
Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
We conducted an epidemiologic investigation of a NICU MRSA outbreak involving serial baby and staff screening to identify opportunities for decolonization. Whole-genome sequencing was performed on MRSA isolates.
A NICU with excellent hand hygiene compliance and longstanding minimal healthcare-associated infections experienced an MRSA outbreak involving 15 babies and 6 healthcare personnel (HCP). In total, 12 cases occurred slowly over a 1-year period (mean, 30.7 days apart) followed by 3 additional cases 7 months later. Multiple progressive infection prevention interventions were implemented, including contact precautions and cohorting of MRSA-positive babies, hand hygiene observers, enhanced environmental cleaning, screening of babies and staff, and decolonization of carriers. Only decolonization of HCP found to be persistent carriers of MRSA was successful in stopping transmission and ending the outbreak. Genomic analyses identified bidirectional transmission between babies and HCP during the outbreak.
In comparison to fast outbreaks, outbreaks that are “slow and sustained” may be more common to units with strong existing infection prevention practices such that a series of breaches have to align to result in a case. We identified a slow outbreak that persisted among staff and babies and was only stopped by identifying and decolonizing persistent MRSA carriage among staff. A repeated decolonization regimen was successful in allowing previously persistent carriers to safely continue work duties.
This SHEA white paper identifies knowledge gaps and challenges in healthcare epidemiology research related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a focus on core principles of healthcare epidemiology. These gaps, revealed during the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, are described in 10 sections: epidemiology, outbreak investigation, surveillance, isolation precaution practices, personal protective equipment (PPE), environmental contamination and disinfection, drug and supply shortages, antimicrobial stewardship, healthcare personnel (HCP) occupational safety, and return to work policies. Each section highlights three critical healthcare epidemiology research questions with detailed description provided in supplementary materials. This research agenda calls for translational studies from laboratory-based basic science research to well-designed, large-scale studies and health outcomes research. Research gaps and challenges related to nursing homes and social disparities are included. Collaborations across various disciplines, expertise and across diverse geographic locations will be critical.
Background: Shared Healthcare Intervention to Eliminate Life-threatening Dissemination of MDROs in Orange County, California (SHIELD OC) was a CDC-funded regional decolonization intervention from April 2017 through July 2019 involving 38 hospitals, nursing homes (NHs), and long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs) to reduce MDROs. Decolonization in NH and LTACHs consisted of universal antiseptic bathing with chlorhexidine (CHG) for routine bathing and showering plus nasal iodophor decolonization (Monday through Friday, twice daily every other week). Hospitals used universal CHG in ICUs and provided daily CHG and nasal iodophor to patients in contact precautions. We sought to evaluate whether decolonization reduced hospitalization and associated healthcare costs due to infections among residents of NHs participating in SHIELD compared to nonparticipating NHs. Methods: Medicaid insurer data covering NH residents in Orange County were used to calculate hospitalization rates due to a primary diagnosis of infection (counts per member quarter), hospital bed days/member-quarter, and expenditures/member quarter from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2019. We used a time-series design and a segmented regression analysis to evaluate changes attributable to the SHIELD OC intervention among participating and nonparticipating NHs. Results: Across the SHIELD OC intervention period, intervention NHs experienced a 44% decrease in hospitalization rates, a 43% decrease in hospital bed days, and a 53% decrease in Medicaid expenditures when comparing the last quarter of the intervention to the baseline period (Fig. 1). These data translated to a significant downward slope, with a reduction of 4% per quarter in hospital admissions due to infection (P < .001), a reduction of 7% per quarter in hospitalization days due to infection (P < .001), and a reduction of 9% per quarter in Medicaid expenditures (P = .019) per NH resident. Conclusions: The universal CHG bathing and nasal decolonization intervention adopted by NHs in the SHIELD OC collaborative resulted in large, meaningful reductions in hospitalization events, hospitalization days, and healthcare expenditures among Medicaid-insured NH residents. The findings led CalOptima, the Medicaid provider in Orange County, California, to launch an NH incentive program that provides dedicated training and covers the cost of CHG and nasal iodophor for OC NHs that enroll.
Disclosures: Gabrielle M. Gussin, University of California, Irvine, Stryker (Sage Products): Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Clorox: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Medline: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Xttrium: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes.
To understand hospital policies and practices as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) conducted a survey through the SHEA Research Network (SRN). The survey assessed policies and practices around the optimization of personal protection equipment (PPE), testing, healthcare personnel policies, visitors of COVID-19 patients in relation to procedures, and types of patients. Overall, 69 individual healthcare facilities responded in the United States and internationally, for a 73% response rate.
To assess the impact of a newly developed Central-Line Insertion Site Assessment (CLISA) score on the incidence of local inflammation or infection for CLABSI prevention.
A pre- and postintervention, quasi-experimental quality improvement study.
Setting and participants:
Adult inpatients with central venous catheters (CVCs) hospitalized in an intensive care unit or oncology ward at a large academic medical center.
We evaluated CLISA score impact on insertion site inflammation and infection (CLISA score of 2 or 3) incidence in the baseline period (June 2014–January 2015) and the intervention period (April 2015–October 2017) using interrupted times series and generalized linear mixed-effects multivariable analyses. These were run separately for days-to-line removal from identification of a CLISA score of 2 or 3. CLISA score interrater reliability and photo quiz results were evaluated.
Among 6,957 CVCs assessed 40,846 times, percentage of lines with CLISA score of 2 or 3 in the baseline and intervention periods decreased by 78.2% (from 22.0% to 4.7%), with a significant immediate decrease in the time-series analysis (P < .001). According to the multivariable regression, the intervention was associated with lower percentage of lines with a CLISA score of 2 or 3, after adjusting for age, gender, CVC body location, and hospital unit (odds ratio, 0.15; 95% confidence interval, 0.06–0.34; P < .001). According to the multivariate regression, days to removal of lines with CLISA score of 2 or 3 was 3.19 days faster after the intervention (P < .001). Also, line dwell time decreased 37.1% from a mean of 14 days (standard deviation [SD], 10.6) to 8.8 days (SD, 9.0) (P < .001). Device utilization ratios decreased 9% from 0.64 (SD, 0.08) to 0.58 (SD, 0.06) (P = .039).
The CLISA score creates a common language for assessing line infection risk and successfully promotes high compliance with best practices in timely line removal.