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Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) can be prevented through infection prevention practices and antibiotic stewardship. Diagnostic stewardship (ie, strategies to improve use of microbiological testing) can also improve antibiotic use. However, little is known about the use of such practices in US hospitals, especially after multidisciplinary stewardship programs became a requirement for US hospital accreditation in 2017. Thus, we surveyed US hospitals to assess antibiotic stewardship program composition, practices related to CDI, and diagnostic stewardship.
Surveys were mailed to infection preventionists at 900 randomly sampled US hospitals between May and October 2017. Hospitals were surveyed on antibiotic stewardship programs; CDI prevention, treatment, and testing practices; and diagnostic stewardship strategies. Responses were compared by hospital bed size using weighted logistic regression.
Overall, 528 surveys were completed (59% response rate). Almost all (95%) responding hospitals had an antibiotic stewardship program. Smaller hospitals were less likely to have stewardship team members with infectious diseases (ID) training, and only 41% of hospitals met The Joint Commission accreditation standards for multidisciplinary teams. Guideline-recommended CDI prevention practices were common. Smaller hospitals were less likely to use high-tech disinfection devices, fecal microbiota transplantation, or diagnostic stewardship strategies.
Following changes in accreditation standards, nearly all US hospitals now have an antibiotic stewardship program. However, many hospitals, especially smaller hospitals, appear to struggle with access to ID expertise and with deploying diagnostic stewardship strategies. CDI prevention could be enhanced through diagnostic stewardship and by emphasizing the role of non–ID-trained pharmacists and clinicians in antibiotic stewardship.
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the most common infectious cause of nosocomial diarrhea, and its prevention is an urgent public health priority. However, reduction of CDI is challenging because of its complex pathogenesis, large reservoirs of colonized patients, and the persistence of infectious spores. The literature lacks high-quality evidence for evaluating interventions, and many hospitals have implemented bundled interventions to reduce CDI with variable results. Thus, we conducted a systematic review to examine the components of CDI bundles, their implementation processes, and their impact on CDI rates.
We conducted a comprehensive literature search of multiple computerized databases from their date of inception through April 30, 2016. The protocol was registered in PROSPERO, an international prospective register of systematic reviews. Bundle effectiveness, adherence, and study quality were assessed for each study meeting our criteria for inclusion.
In the 26 studies that met the inclusion criteria for this review, implementation and adherence factors to interventions were variably and incompletely reported, making study reproducibility and replicability challenging. Despite contextual differences and the variety of bundle components utilized, all 26 studies reported an improvement in CDI rates. However, given the lack of randomized controlled trials in the literature, assessing a causal relationship between bundled interventions and CDI rates is currently impossible.
Cluster randomized trials that include a rigorous assessment of the implementation of bundled interventions are urgently needed to causally test the effect of intervention bundles on CDI rates.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2017;38:639–650
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