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The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format designed to assist acute-care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing their surgical-site infection (SSI) prevention efforts. This document updates the Strategies to Prevent Surgical Site Infections in Acute Care Hospitals published in 2014.1 This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). It is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise.
To examine the utility of video-based monitoring systems (VMSs) for auditing hand hygiene compliance according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Five Moments.
Pragmatic quasi-experimental observation trial.
The New South Wales Biocontainment Centre, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia.
Volunteer healthcare workers (HCWs).
Six high-fidelity simulations were recorded and subsequently assessed for their ability to audit hand hygiene compliance according to the WHO Five Moments for hand hygiene criteria using tools provided by the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI).
In total, 206 minutes of recorded footage were reviewed in 120 minutes, yielding 111 moments. Overall HCW hand hygiene compliance was 88% according to the WHO Five Moments framework. The cost per moment was $0.91 AUD ($0.66 USD) and the time required per moment was 64 seconds.
Auditing of hand hygiene compliance according to all 5 of the WHO Five Moments from recorded footage is not only possible but provides cost and time savings. In addition, the process may produce output that is less subject to the biases inherent in direct human observational auditing.
To evaluate the effectiveness of an automated hand hygiene compliance system (AHHCS) audible alert and vibration for increasing hand hygiene compliance.
A nonrandomized, before-and-after, quasi-experimental study of an AHHCS was implemented in several inpatient units. Over a 51-day period, the system’s real-time audible alert was turned on, off, and back on. Overall, hand hygiene compliance was compared between days with activated and deactivated alerts and vibration.
This study was conducted at a level 1 trauma center, a regional academic health system with 1,564 beds.
The AHHCS was implemented in 9 inpatient units: 3 adult medical-surgical step-down units, and 6 adult intensive care units. The AHHCS badges were assigned to patient care assistants, registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, and physicians.
In the 9 inpatient units, selected healthcare staff were issued wearable badges that detected entry into and exit from a patient room. The audible alert was turned on for 16 days, turned off for 17 days, and then turned back on for 18 days, for a total of 51 days.
Utilization of the AHHCS real-time audible alert reminder resulted in sustained HH compliance ≥90%. When the alert and vibration were deactivated, HH compliance dropped to an average of 74% (range, 62%–78%). Once the alert resumed, HH compliance returned to ≥90%.
Utilization of an AHHCS with real-time reminder audible alerts may be an effective method to increase healthcare worker HH compliance to ≥90%. Users of AHHCSs should consider the use of real-time reminders to improve HH compliance.
To compare the accuracy of monitoring personal protective equipment (PPE) donning and doffing process between an artificial intelligent (AI) machine collaborated with remote human buddy support system and an onsite buddy, and to determine the degree of AI autonomy at the current development stage.
Design and setting:
We conducted a pilot simulation study with 30 procedural scenarios (15 donning and 15 doffing, performed by one individual) incorporating random errors in 55 steps. In total, 195 steps were assessed.
The human–AI machine system and the onsite buddy assessed the procedures independently. The human–AI machine system performed the assessment via a tablet device, which was positioned to allow full-body visualization of the donning and doffing person.
The overall accuracy of PPE monitoring using the human–AI machine system was 100% and the overall accuracy of the onsite buddy was 99%. There was a very good agreement between the 2 methods (κ coefficient, 0.97). The current version of the AI technology was able to perform autonomously, without the remote human buddy’s rectification in 173 (89%) of 195 steps. It identified 67.3% of all the errors independently.
This study provides preliminary evidence suggesting that a human–AI machine system may be able to serve as a substitute or enhancement to an onsite buddy performing the PPE monitoring task. It provides practical assistance using a combination of a computer mirror, visual prompts, and verbal commands. However, further studies are required to examine its clinical efficacy with a diverse range of individuals performing the donning and doffing procedures.
To develop and implement antibiotic stewardship activities in urgent care targeting non–antibiotic-appropriate acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) that also reduces overall antibiotic prescribing and maintains patient satisfaction.
Patients and setting:
Patients and clinicians at the urgent care clinics of an integrated academic health system.
Intervention and methods:
The stewardship activities started in fiscal 2020 and included measure development, comparative feedback, and clinician and patient education. We measured antibiotic prescribing in fiscal years 2019, 2020, and 2021 for the stewardship targets, potential diagnosis-shifting visits, and overall. We also collected patient satisfaction data for ARI visits.
From FY19 to FY21, 576,609 patients made 1,358,816 visits to 17 urgent care clinics, including 105,781 visits for which stewardship measures were applied and 149,691 visits for which diagnosis shifting measures were applied. The antibiotic prescribing rate decreased for stewardship-measure visits from 34% in FY19 to 12% in FY21 (absolute change, −22%; 95% confidence interval [CI], −23% to −22%). The antibiotic prescribing rate decreased for diagnosis-shifting visits from 63% to 35% (−28%; 95% CI, −28% to −27%), and the antibiotic prescribing rate decreased overall from 30% to 10% (−20%; 95% CI, −20% to −20%). The patient satisfaction rate increased from 83% in FY19 to 89% in FY20 and FY21. There was no significant association between antibiotic prescribing rates of individual clinicians and ARI visit patient satisfaction.
Although it was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, an ambulatory antimicrobial stewardship program that focused on improving non–antibiotic-appropriate ARI prescribing was associated with decreased prescribing for (1) the stewardship target, (2) a diagnosis shifting measure, and (3) overall antibiotic prescribing. Patient satisfaction at ARI visits increased over time and was not associated with clinicians’ antibiotic prescribing rates.
To determine whether a clinician-directed acute respiratory tract infection (ARI) intervention was associated with improved antibiotic prescribing and patient outcomes across a large US healthcare system.
Multicenter retrospective quasi-experimental analysis of outpatient visits with a diagnosis of uncomplicated ARI over a 7-year period.
Outpatients with ARI diagnoses: sinusitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, and unspecified upper respiratory tract infection (URI-NOS). Outpatients with concurrent infection or select comorbid conditions were excluded.
Audit and feedback with peer comparison of antibiotic prescribing rates and academic detailing of clinicians with frequent ARI visits. Antimicrobial stewards and academic detailing personnel delivered the intervention; facility and clinician participation were voluntary.
We calculated the probability to receive antibiotics for an ARI before and after implementation. Secondary outcomes included probability for a return clinic visits or infection-related hospitalization, before and after implementation. Intervention effects were assessed with logistic generalized estimating equation models. Facility participation was tracked, and results were stratified by quartile of facility intervention intensity.
We reviewed 1,003,509 and 323,023 uncomplicated ARI visits before and after the implementation of the intervention, respectively. The probability to receive antibiotics for ARI decreased after implementation (odds ratio [OR], 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78–0.86). Facilities with the highest quartile of intervention intensity demonstrated larger reductions in antibiotic prescribing (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.59–0.80) compared to nonparticipating facilities (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.73–1.09). Return visits (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.94–1.07) and infection-related hospitalizations (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 0.92–1.59) were not different before and after implementation within facilities that performed intensive implementation.
Implementation of a nationwide ARI management intervention (ie, audit and feedback with academic detailing) was associated with improved ARI management in an intervention intensity–dependent manner. No impact on ARI-related clinical outcomes was observed.
To determine the association between after-hours consultations and the likelihood of antibiotic prescribing for self-limiting upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in primary care practices.
A cross-sectional analysis using Australian national primary-care practice data (MedicineInsight) between February 1, 2016 and January 31, 2019.
Nationwide primary-care practices across Australia.
Adult and pediatric patients who visited primary care practices for first-time URTIs.
We estimated the proportion of first-time URTI episodes for which antibiotic prescribing occurred on the same day (immediate prescribing) using diagnoses and prescription records in the electronic primary-care database. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the likelihood of antibiotic prescribing by the time of primary care visits were calculated using generalized estimating equations.
Among 357,287 URTI episodes, antibiotics were prescribed in 172,605 episodes (48.3%). After adjusting for patients’ demographics, practice characteristics, and seasons, we detected a higher likelihood of antibiotic prescribing on weekends compared to weekdays (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.39–1.45) and on national public holidays compared to nonholidays (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.17–1.29). When we controlled for patient presentation and diagnosis, the association between antibiotic prescribing and after-hours consultations remained significant: weekend versus weekdays (OR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.33–1.41) and holidays versus nonholidays (OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.03–1.18).
Primary-care consultations on weekends and public holidays were associated with a higher likelihood of immediate antibiotic prescribing for self-limiting URTIs in primary care. This finding might be attributed to lower resourcing in after-hours health care.
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.
Air dispersal of respiratory viruses other than SARS-CoV-2 has not been systematically reported. The incidence and factors associated with air dispersal of respiratory viruses are largely unknown.
We performed air sampling by collecting 72,000 L of air over 6 hours for pediatric and adolescent patients infected with parainfluenza virus 3 (PIF3), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, and adenovirus. The patients were singly or 2-patient cohort isolated in airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) from December 3, 2021, to January 26, 2022. The viral load in nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPA) and air samples were measured. Factors associated with air dispersal were investigated and analyzed.
Of 20 singly isolated patients with median age of 30 months (range, 3 months–15 years), 7 (35%) had air dispersal of the viruses compatible with their NPA results. These included 4 (40%) of 10 PIF3-infected patients, 2 (66%) of 3 RSV-infected patients, and 1 (50%) of 2 adenovirus-infected patients. The mean viral load in their room air sample was 1.58×103 copies/mL. Compared with 13 patients (65%) without air dispersal, these 7 patients had a significantly higher mean viral load in their NPA specimens (6.15×107 copies/mL vs 1.61×105 copies/mL; P < .001). Another 14 patients were placed in cohorts as 7 pairs infected with the same virus (PIF3, 2 pairs; RSV, 3 pairs; rhinovirus, 1 pair; and adenovirus, 1 pair) in double-bed AIIRs, all of which had air dispersal. The mean room air viral load in 2-patient cohorts was significantly higher than in rooms of singly isolated patients (1.02×104 copies/mL vs 1.58×103 copies/mL; P = .020).
Air dispersal of common respiratory viruses may have infection prevention and public health implications.
Novel approaches are needed to understand and disrupt Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission. In this proof-of-concept study, we investigated the use of environmental air samplings to detect and quantify M. tuberculosis in different clinic settings in a high-burden area.
Cross-sectional, environmental sampling.
A portable, high-flow dry filter unit (DFU) was used to draw air through polyester felt filters for 2 hours. Samples were collected in the waiting area and TB room of a primary care clinic. Controls included sterile filters placed directly into collection tubes at the DFU sampling site, and filter samplings performed outdoors. DNA was extracted from the filters, and droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) was used to quantify M. tuberculosis DNA copies. Carbon dioxide (CO2) data loggers captured CO2 concentrations in the sampled areas.
The median sampling time was 123 minutes (interquartile range [IQR], 121–126). A median of 121 (IQR, 35–243) M. tuberculosis DNA copies were obtained from 74 clinic samplings, compared to a median of 3 (IQR, 1–33; P < .001) obtained from 47 controls. At a threshold of 320 DNA copies, specificity was 100%, and 18% of clinic samples would be classified as positive.
This proof-of-concept study suggests that the potential for airborne M. tuberculosis detection based on M. tuberculosis DNA copy yield to enable the identification of high-risk transmission locations. Further optimization of the M. tuberculosis extraction technique and ddPCR data analysis would improve detection and enable robust interpretation of these data.
Central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are associated with significant morbidity among pediatric oncology-hematology patients, and risk factors remain largely unknown in the setting of hospital at home (HAH). Children in HAH receive intensive treatment (eg, chemotherapy and parenteral nutrition), with frequent central-line handling; thus, they may be at higher risk for CLABSI.
We conducted a monocentric retrospective study of patients with a central line included in our HAH program from January 1 to December 31, 2016. HAH patient characteristics for children developing CLABSIs were compared to those who did not, based on blood cultures positive for infection and clinical data of all patients included.
Overall, 492 HAH stays were analyzed, with 144 patients. The overall CLABSI rate in these patients was 2.6 per 1,000 central-line days. Children who developed CLABSIs were younger (median age, 2.5 vs 8.8 years; P < .001), suffered more from hematological pathologies (malignant or nonmalignant, 75% vs 52%; P = .02), and had more frequently undergone hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (30.8% vs 6.5%; P = .01). In addition, these patients often had a tunneled externalized catheter as the central line and were more frequently given parenteral nutrition at home (46% vs 8%; P < .001).
CLABSI rates for children in HAH were more similar to those of inpatients than to rates previously reported for ambulatory patients. The factors associated with infection identified herein should be further validated in multicentric studies and considered to improve HAH practices, parallel to prevention measures used in the inpatient setting.
Using a machine-learning model, we examined drivers of antibiotic prescribing for antibiotic-inappropriate acute respiratory illnesses in a large US claims data set. Antibiotics were prescribed in 11% of the 42 million visits in our sample. The model identified outpatient setting type, patient age mix, and state as top drivers of prescribing.
We performed a survey of adult infectious diseases (ID) physicians to explore unintended consequences of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASP). ID physicians worried about disagreement with colleagues, provider autonomy, and remote recommendations. Non-ASP ID physicians expressed more concern regarding ASPs focus on costs, provider efficiency, and unintended consequences of ASP guidance.
We reviewed trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole antibiotic susceptibility testing data among Staphylococcus aureus using 3 national inpatient databases. In all 3 databases, we observed an increases in the percentage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus that were not susceptible to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Providers should select antibiotic regimens based on local resistance patterns and should report changes to the public health department.
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.
A comparison of computer-extracted and facility-reported counts of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients for public health reporting at 36 hospitals revealed 42% of days with matching counts between the data sources. Miscategorization of suspect cases was a primary driver of discordance. Clear reporting definitions and data validation facilitate emerging disease surveillance.
To assess the burden of respiratory virus coinfections with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), this study reviewed 4,818 specimens positive for SARS-CoV-2 and tested using respiratory virus multiplex testing. Coinfections with SARS-CoV-2 were uncommon (2.8%), with enterovirus or rhinovirus as the most prevalent target (88.1%). Respiratory virus coinfection with SARS-CoV-2 remains low 1 year into the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
One in six nursing home residents and staff with positive SARS-CoV-2 tests ≥90 days after initial infection had specimen cycle thresholds (Ct) <30. Individuals with specimen Ct<30 were more likely to report symptoms but were not different from individuals with high Ct value specimens by other clinical and testing data.
Nonspecific respiratory symptoms overlap with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Prompt diagnosis of COVID-19 in hospital employees is crucial to prevent nosocomial transmission. Rapid molecular SARS-CoV-2 testing was performed for 115 symptomatic employees. The case positivity rate was 2.6%. Employees with negative tests returned to work after 80 (±28) minutes.