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Hospitalized neonates are at high risk for hospital-associated bloodstream infections (HA-BSI) and require locally contextualized interventions to prevent HA-BSI.
The Preventing Infections in Neonates (PIN) collaborative aimed to reach a 50% decrease in neonatal HA-BSI rates for a 27-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Using quality improvement (QI) methodologies, a multidisciplinary cross-cultural collaborative implemented phased and bundled interventions from July 2017 to September 2019. Descriptive statistics and statistical process control charts were used to analyze infection rates.
There were 916 admissions, 19,812 patient-days, and 4264 central line days in the NICU during the project period. Monthly baseline preintervention HA-BSI median rate was 3.95/1000 patient-days and decreased to 1.73/1000 patient-days (56% change) during the bundled interventions. Quarterly HA-BSI rates also decreased from the preintervention median of 4.5/1000 patient-days to 3.3/1000 patient-days during the intervention period (IRR 0.73; 95%CI 0.39, 1.36). Staff were highly compliant with hand hygiene and environmental cleaning. Through project efforts, compliance with bundle elements increased from 25% at baseline to a peak of 97% for central line (CL) insertion checklists and from 13% to a peak of 56% for CL maintenance checklists.
Unit-based bundled interventions can reduce neonatal HA-BSI in limited resource settings. Future studies can assess similar practices in other units and the impact of the pandemic on interventions to reduce HA-BSIs.
Previously published guidelines have provided comprehensive recommendations for detecting and preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format designed to assist acute-care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing efforts to prevent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission and infection. This document updates the “Strategies to Prevent Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Transmission and Infection 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.
In total, 50 healthcare facilities completed a survey in 2021 to characterize changes in infection prevention and control and antibiotic stewardship practices. Notable findings include sustained surveillance for multidrug-resistant organisms but decreased use of human resource-intensive interventions compared to previous surveys in 2013 and 2018 conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The epidemiology of community-onset Staphylococcus aureus infections is evolving. We performed a multihospital, retrospective study of pediatric community-onset S. aureus susceptibilities between 2015 and 2020. Oxacillin and clindamycin susceptibility remained lower at 67% and 75%, respectively. Tetracycline and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole susceptibility remained high at >90%. Oxacillin susceptibility was highest in invasive infections.
In a large healthcare worker cohort, we quantified the association between behaviors and risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during different pandemic phases, adjusting for prior infection and vaccination. Individual characteristics, including personal concerns, were associated with these behaviors. Public health messaging should target high-risk populations and behaviors as the pandemic evolves.
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 assess preventability of hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB), we developed and evaluated a structured rating guide accounting for intrinsic patient and extrinsic healthcare-related risks.
HOB preventability rating guide was compared against a reference standard expert panel.
A 10-member panel of clinical experts was assembled as the standard of preventability assessment, and 2 physician reviewers applied the rating guide for comparison.
The expert panel independently rated 82 hypothetical HOB scenarios using a 6-point Likert scale collapsed into 3 categories: preventable, uncertain, or not preventable. Consensus was defined as concurrence on the same category among ≥70% experts. Scenarios without consensus were deliberated and followed by a second round of rating.
Two reviewers independently applied the rating guide to adjudicate the same 82 scenarios in 2 rounds, with interim revisions. Interrater reliability was evaluated using the κ (kappa) statistic.
Expert panel consensus criteria were met for 52 scenarios (63%) after 2 rounds.
After 2 rounds, guide-based rating matched expert panel consensus in 40 of 52 (77%) and 39 of 52 (75%) cases for reviewers 1 and 2, respectively. Agreement rates between the 2 reviewers were 84% overall (κ, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64–0.88]) and 87% (κ, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.65–0.94) for the 52 scenarios with expert consensus.
Preventability ratings of HOB scenarios by 2 reviewers using a rating guide matched expert consensus in most cases with moderately high interreviewer reliability. Although diversity of expert opinions and uncertainty of preventability merit further exploration, this is a step toward standardized assessment of HOB preventability.
We analyzed the efficacy, cost, and cost-effectiveness of predictive decision-support systems based on surveillance interventions to reduce the spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).
We developed a computational model that included patient movement between acute-care hospitals (ACHs), long-term care facilities (LTCFs), and communities to simulate the transmission and epidemiology of CRE. A comparative cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted on several surveillance strategies to detect asymptomatic CRE colonization, which included screening in ICUs at select or all hospitals, a statewide registry, or a combination of hospital screening and a statewide registry.
We investigated 51 ACHs, 222 LTCFs, and skilled nursing facilities, and 464 ZIP codes in the state of Maryland.
Patients or participants:
The model was informed using 2013–2016 patient-mix data from the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission. This model included all patients that were admitted to an ACH.
On average, the implementation of a statewide CRE registry reduced annual CRE infections by 6.3% (18.8 cases). Policies of screening in select or all ICUs without a statewide registry had no significant impact on the incidence of CRE infections. Predictive algorithms, which identified any high-risk patient, reduced colonization incidence by an average of 1.2% (3.7 cases) without a registry and 7.0% (20.9 cases) with a registry. Implementation of the registry was estimated to save $572,000 statewide in averted infections per year.
Although hospital-level surveillance provided minimal reductions in CRE infections, regional coordination with a statewide registry of CRE patients reduced infections and was cost-effective.
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.
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.
To evaluate the effect of 70% isopropyl alcohol–impregnated central venous catheter caps on ambulatory central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in pediatric hematology-oncology patients.
This study was a 24-month, cluster-randomized, 2 period, crossover clinical trial.
The study was conducted in 15 pediatric healthcare institutions, including 16 pediatric hematology-oncology clinics.
All patients with an external central line followed at 1 of the 16 hematology-oncology clinics.
Usual ambulatory central-line care per each institution using 70% isopropyl alcohol–impregnated caps at home compared to usual ambulatory central-line care in each institution without using 70% isopropyl alcohol–impregnated caps.
Of the 16 participating clinics, 15 clinics completed both assignment periods. As assigned, there was no reduction in CLABSI incidence in clinics using 70% isopropyl alcohol–impregnated caps (1.23 per 1,000 days) compared with standard practices (1.38 per 1,000 days; adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR], 0.83; 95% CI, 0.63–1.11). In the per-protocol population, there was a reduction in positive blood culture incidence in clinics using 70% isopropyl alcohol-impregnated caps (1.51 per 1,000 days) compared with standard practices (1.88 per 1,000 days; aIRR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.52–0.99). No adverse events were reported.
Isopropyl alcohol–impregnated central-line caps did not lead to a statistically significant reduction in CLABSI rates in ambulatory hematology-oncology patients. In the per-protocol analysis, there was a statistically significant decrease in positive blood cultures. Larger trials are needed to elucidate the impact of 70% isopropyl alcohol–impregnated caps in the ambulatory setting.
We used a survey to characterize contemporary infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship program practices across 64 healthcare facilities, and we compared these findings to those of a similar 2013 survey. Notable findings include decreased frequency of active surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, frequent active surveillance for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and increased support for antibiotic stewardship programs.
We compared the fluorescent gel removal rate using fewer high-touch surfaces (HTSs) and rooms and determined the optimum number of HTSs and rooms needed to ensure accuracy using 2,942 HTSs in 228 rooms on 13 units. Randomly selecting 3 HTS in 2 rooms predicted the optimal removal rate.
To ascertain opinions regarding etiology and preventability of hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB) and perspectives on HOB as a potential outcome measure reflecting quality of infection prevention and hospital care.
Hospital epidemiologists and infection preventionist members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network.
A web-based, multiple-choice survey was administered via the SHEA Research Network to 133 hospitals.
A total of 89 surveys were completed (67% response rate). Overall, 60% of respondents defined HOB as a positive blood culture on or after hospital day 3. Central line-associated bloodstream infections and intra-abdominal infections were perceived as the most frequent etiologies. Moreover, 61% thought that most HOB events are preventable, and 54% viewed HOB as a measure reflecting a hospital’s quality of care. Also, 29% of respondents’ hospitals already collect HOB data for internal purposes. Given a choice to publicly report central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and/or HOB, 57% favored reporting either HOB alone (22%) or in addition to CLABSI (35%) and 34% favored CLABSI alone.
Among the majority of SHEA Research Network respondents, HOB is perceived as preventable, reflective of quality of care, and potentially acceptable as a publicly reported quality metric. Further studies on HOB are needed, including validation as a quality measure, assessment of risk adjustment, and formation of evidence-based bundles and toolkits to facilitate measurement and improvement of HOB rates.
Targeted screening for carbapenem-resistant organisms (CROs), including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPOs), remains limited; recent data suggest that existing policies miss many carriers.
Our objective was to measure the prevalence of CRO and CPO perirectal colonization at hospital unit admission and to use machine learning methods to predict probability of CRO and/or CPO carriage.
We performed an observational cohort study of all patients admitted to the medical intensive care unit (MICU) or solid organ transplant (SOT) unit at The Johns Hopkins Hospital between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017. Admission perirectal swabs were screened for CROs and CPOs. More than 125 variables capturing preadmission clinical and demographic characteristics were collected from the electronic medical record (EMR) system. We developed models to predict colonization probabilities using decision tree learning.
Evaluating 2,878 admission swabs from 2,165 patients, we found that 7.5% and 1.3% of swabs were CRO and CPO positive, respectively. Organism and carbapenemase diversity among CPO isolates was high. Despite including many characteristics commonly associated with CRO/CPO carriage or infection, overall, decision tree models poorly predicted CRO and CPO colonization (C statistics, 0.57 and 0.58, respectively). In subgroup analyses, however, models did accurately identify patients with recent CRO-positive cultures who use proton-pump inhibitors as having a high likelihood of CRO colonization.
In this inpatient population, CRO carriage was infrequent but was higher than previously published estimates. Despite including many variables associated with CRO/CPO carriage, models poorly predicted colonization status, likely due to significant host and organism heterogeneity.