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The transfer of pathogens may spread antimicrobial resistance and lead to healthcare-acquired infections. We performed a systematic literature review to generate estimates of pathogen transfer in relation to healthcare provider (HCP) activities.
For this systematic review and meta-analysis, Medline/Ovid, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched for studies published before July 7, 2017. We reviewed the literature, examining transfer of pathogens associated with HCP activities. We included studies that (1) quantified transfer of pathogens from a defined origin to a defined destination surface; (2) reported a microbiological sampling technique; and (3) described the associated activity leading to transfer. For studies reporting transfer frequencies, we extracted data and calculated the estimated proportion using Freeman-Tukey double arcsine transformation and the DerSimonian-Laird random-effects model.
Of 13,121 identified articles, 32 were included. Most articles (n=27, 84%) examined transfer from patients and their environment to HCP hands, gloves, and gowns, with an estimated proportion for transfer frequency of 33% (95% confidence interval [CI], 12%–57%), 30% (95% CI, 23%–38%) and 10% (95% CI, 6%–14%), respectively. Other articles addressed transfer involving the hospital environment and medical devices. Risk factor analyses in 12 studies suggested higher transfer frequencies after contact with moist body sites (n=7), longer duration of care (n=5), and care of patients with an invasive device (n=3).
Recognizing the heterogeneity in study designs, the available evidence suggests that pathogen transfer to HCPs occurs frequently. More systematic research is urgently warranted to support targeted and economic prevention policies and interventions.
Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Despite a nationwide decline in CLABSI rates, individual hospital success in preventing CLABSI is variable. Difficulty in interpreting and applying complex CLABSI metrics may explain this problem. Therefore, we assessed expert interpretation of CLABSI quality data. DESIGN. Cross-sectional survey PARTICIPANTS. Members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network (SRN) METHODS. We administered a 10-item test of CLABSI data comprehension. The primary outcome was percent correct of attempted questions pertaining to the CLABSI data. We also assessed expert perceptions of CLABSI reporting.
The response rate was 51% (n=67).Among experts, the average proportion of correct responses was 73% (95% confidence interval [CI], 69%–77%). Expert performance on unadjusted data was significantly better than risk-adjusted data (86% [95% CI, 81%–90%] vs 65% [95% CI, 60%–70%]; P<.001). Using a scale of 1 to 100 (0, never reliable; 100, always reliable), experts rated the reliability of CLABSI data as 61. Perceived reliability showed a significant inverse relationship with performance (r=–0.28; P=.03), and as interpretation of data improved, perceptions regarding reliability of those data decreased. Experts identified concerns regarding understanding and applying CLABSI definitions as barriers to care.
Significant variability in the interpretation of CLABSI data exists among experts. This finding is likely related to data complexity, particularly with respect to risk-adjusted data. Improvements appear necessary in data sharing and public policy efforts to account for this complexity.
Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are associated with central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). However, no tools to predict risk of PICC-CLABSI have been developed.
To operationalize or prioritize CLABSI risk factors when making decisions regarding the use of PICCs using a risk model to estimate an individual’s risk of PICC-CLABSI prior to device placement.
Using data from the Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety consortium, patients that experienced PICC-CLABSI between January 2013 and October 2016 were identified. A Cox proportional hazards model with robust sandwich standard error estimates was then used to identify factors associated with PICC-CLABSI. Based on regression coefficients, points were assigned to each predictor and summed for each patient to create the Michigan PICC-CLABSI (MPC) score. The predictive performance of the score was assessed using time-dependent area-under-the-curve (AUC) values.
Of 23,088 patients that received PICCs during the study period, 249 patients (1.1%) developed a CLABSI. Significant risk factors associated with PICC-CLABSI included hematological cancer (3 points), CLABSI within 3 months of PICC insertion (2 points), multilumen PICC (2 points), solid cancers with ongoing chemotherapy (2 points), receipt of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) through the PICC (1 point), and presence of another central venous catheter (CVC) at the time of PICC placement (1 point). The MPC score was significantly associated with risk of CLABSI (P<.0001). For every point increase, the hazard ratio of CLABSI increased by 1.63 (95% confidence interval, 1.56–1.71). The area under the receiver-operating-characteristics curve was 0.67 to 0.77 for PICC dwell times of 6 to 40 days, which indicates good model calibration.
The MPC score offers a novel way to inform decisions regarding PICC use, surveillance of high-risk cohorts, and utility of blood cultures when PICC-CLABSI is suspected. Future studies validating the score are necessary.
The number of peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lumens is associated with thrombotic and infectious complications. Because multilumen PICCs are not necessary in all patients, policies that limit their use may improve safety and cost.
To design a simulation-based analysis to estimate outcomes and cost associated with a policy that encourages single-lumen PICC use.
Model inputs, including risk of complications and costs associated with single- and multilumen PICCs, were obtained from available literature and a multihospital collaborative quality improvement project. Cost savings and reduction in central line–associated bloodstream infection and deep vein thrombosis events from institution of a single-lumen PICC default policy were reported.
According to our model, a hospital that places 1,000 PICCs per year (25% of which are single-lumen and 75% multilumen) experiences annual PICC-related maintenance and complication costs of $1,228,598 (95% CI, $1,053,175–$1,430,958). In such facilities, every 5% increase in single-lumen PICC use would prevent 0.5 PICC-related central line-associated bloodstream infections and 0.5 PICC-related deep vein thrombosis events, while saving $23,500. Moving from 25% to 50% single-lumen PICC utilization would result in total savings of $119,283 (95% CI, $74,030–$184,170) per year. Regardless of baseline prevalence, a single-lumen default PICC policy would be associated with approximately 10% cost savings. Findings remained robust in multiway sensitivity analyses.
Hospital policies that limit the number of PICC lumens may enhance patient safety and reduce healthcare costs. Studies measuring intended and unintended consequences of this approach, followed by rapid adoption, appear necessary.
Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are associated with central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI). The magnitude of this risk relative to central venous catheters (CVCs) is unknown.
To compare risk of CLABSI between PICCs and CVCs.
MEDLINE, CinAHL, Scopus, EmBASE, and Cochrane CENTRAL were searched. Full-text studies comparing the risk of CLABSI between PICCs and CVCs were included. Studies involving adults 18 years of age or older who underwent insertion of a PICC or a CVC and reported CLABSI were included in our analysis. Studies were evaluated using the Downs and Black scale for risk of bias. Random effects meta-analyses were used to generate summary estimates of CLABSI risk in patients with PICCs versus CVCs.
Of 1,185 studies identified, 23 studies involving 57,250 patients met eligibility criteria. Twenty of 23 eligible studies reported the total number of CLABSI episodes in patients with PICCs and CVCs. Pooled meta-analyses of these studies revealed that PICCs were associated with a lower risk of CLABSI than were CVCs (relative risk [RR], 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.40-0.94). Statistical heterogeneity prompted subgroup analysis, which demonstrated that CLABSI reduction was greatest in outpatients (RR [95% CI], 0.22 [0.18-0.27]) compared with hospitalized patients who received PICCs (RR [95% CI], 0.73 [0.54-0.98]). Thirteen of the included 23 studies reported CLABSI per catheter-day. Within these studies, PICC-related CLABSI occurred as frequently as CLABSI from CVCs (incidence rate ratio [95% CI], 0.91 [0.46-1.79]).
Only 1 randomized trial met inclusion criteria. CLABSI definition and infection prevention strategies were variably reported. Few studies reported infections by catheter-days.
Although PICCs are associated with a lower risk of CLABSI than CVCs in outpatients, hospitalized patients may be just as likely to experience CLABSI with PICCs as with CVCs. Consideration of risks and benefits before PICC use in inpatient settings is warranted.
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