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The gold standard for hand hygiene (HH) while wearing gloves requires removing gloves, performing HH, and donning new gloves between WHO moments. The novel strategy of applying alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) directly to gloved hands might be effective and efficient.
A mixed-method, multicenter, 3-arm, randomized trial.
Adult and pediatric medical-surgical, intermediate, and intensive care units at 4 hospitals.
Healthcare personnel (HCP).
HCP were randomized to 3 groups: ABHR applied directly to gloved hands, the current standard, or usual care.
Gloved hands were sampled via direct imprint. Gold-standard and usual-care arms were compared with the ABHR intervention.
Bacteria were identified on gloved hands after 432 (67.4%) of 641 observations in the gold-standard arm versus 548 (82.8%) of 662 observations in the intervention arm (P < .01). HH required a mean of 14 seconds in the intervention and a mean of 28.7 seconds in the gold-standard arm (P < .01). Bacteria were identified on gloved hands after 133 (98.5%) of 135 observations in the usual-care arm versus 173 (76.6%) of 226 observations in the intervention arm (P < .01). Of 331 gloves tested 6 (1.8%) were found to have microperforations; all were identified in the intervention arm [6 (2.9%) of 205].
Compared with usual care, contamination of gloved hands was significantly reduced by applying ABHR directly to gloved hands but statistically higher than the gold standard. Given time savings and microbiological benefit over usual care and lack of feasibility of adhering to the gold standard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization should consider advising HCP to decontaminate gloved hands with ABHR when HH moments arise during single-patient encounters.
Background: Statistically significant decreases in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) occurred in Veterans Health Administration (VA) facilities from 2007 to 2019 using active surveillance for facility admissions and contact precautions for patients colonized (CPC) or infected (CPI) with MRSA, but the value of these interventions is controversial. Objective: To determine the impact of active surveillance, CPC, and CPI on prevention MRSA HAIs, we conducted a prospective cohort study between July 2020 and June 2022 in all 123 acute-care VA medical facilities. In April 2020, all facilities were given the option to suspend any combination of active surveillance, CPC, or CPI to free up laboratory resources for COVID-19 testing and conserve personal protective equipment. We measured MRSA HAIs (cases per 1,000 patient days) in intensive care units (ICUs) and non-ICUs by the infection control policy. Results: During the analysis period, there were 917,591 admissions, 5,225,174 patient days, and 568 MRSA HAIs. Only 20% of facilities continued all 3 MRSA infection control measures in July 2020, but this rate increased to 57% by June 2022. The MRSA HAI rate for all infection sites in non-ICUs was 0.07 (95% CI, 0.05–0.08) for facilities practicing active surveillance plus CPC plus CPI compared to 0.12 (95% CI, 0.08–0.19; P = .01) for those not practicing any of these strategies, and in ICUs the MRSA HAI rates were 0.20 (95% CI, 0.15–0.26) and 0.65 (95% CI, 0.41–0.98; P < .001) for the respective policies. Similar differences were seen when the analyses were restricted to MRSA bloodstream HAIs. Accounting for monthly COVID-19 admissions to facilities over the analysis period using a negative binomial regression model did not change the relationships between facility policy and MRSA HAI rates in the ICUs or non-ICUs. There was no statistically significant difference in monthly facility urinary catheter-associated infection rates, a nonequivalent dependent variable, in the categories during the analysis period in either ICUs or non-ICUs. Conclusions: In Veterans Affairs medical centers, there were fewer MRSA HAIs when facilities practiced active surveillance and contact precautions for colonized or infected patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effect was greater in ICUs than non-ICUs.
Housing instability is a social determinant of health associated with multiple negative health outcomes including substance use disorders (SUDs). Real-world evidence of housing instability is needed to improve translational research on populations with SUDs.
We identified evidence of housing instability by leveraging structured diagnosis codes and unstructured clinical data from electronic health records of 20,556 patients from 2017 to 2021. We applied natural language processing with named-entity recognition and pattern matching to unstructured clinical notes with free-text documentation. Additionally, we analyzed semi-structured addresses containing explicit or implicit housing-related labels. We assessed agreement on identification methods by having three experts review of 300 records.
Diagnostic codes only identified 58.5% of the population identifiable as having housing instability, whereas 41.5% are identifiable from addresses only (7.1%), clinical notes only (30.4%), or both (4.0%). Reviewers unanimously agreed on 79.7% of cases reviewed; a Fleiss’ Kappa score of 0.35 suggested fair agreement yet emphasized the difficulty of analyzing patients having ambiguous housing situations. Among those with poisoning episodes related to stimulants or opioids, diagnosis codes were only able to identify 63.9% of those with housing instability.
All three data sources yield valid evidence of housing instability; each has their own inherent practical use and limitations. Translational researchers requiring comprehensive real-world evidence of housing instability should optimize and implement use of structured and unstructured data. Understanding the role of housing instability and temporary housing facilities is salient in populations with SUDs.
Misdiagnosis of bacterial pneumonia increases risk of exposure to inappropriate antibiotics and adverse events. We developed a diagnosis calculator (https://calculator.testingwisely.com) to inform clinical diagnosis of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia using objective indicators, including incidence of disease, risk factors, and sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tests, that were identified through literature review.
To evaluate the efficacy of a new continuously active disinfectant (CAD) to decrease bioburden on high-touch environmental surfaces compared to a standard disinfectant in the intensive care unit.
A single-blind randomized controlled trial with 1:1 allocation.
Medical intensive care unit (MICU) at an urban tertiary-care hospital.
Adult patients admitted to the MICU and on contact precautions.
A new CAD wipe used for daily cleaning.
Samples were collected from 5 high-touch environmental surfaces before cleaning and at 1, 4, and 24 hours after cleaning. The primary outcome was the mean bioburden 24 hours after cleaning. The secondary outcome was the detection of any epidemiologically important pathogen (EIP) 24 hours after cleaning.
In total, 843 environmental samples were collected from 43 unique patient rooms. At 24 hours, the mean bioburden recovered from the patient rooms cleaned with the new CAD wipe (intervention) was 52 CFU/mL, and the mean bioburden was 92 CFU/mL in the rooms cleaned the standard disinfectant (control). After log transformation for multivariable analysis, the mean difference in bioburden between the intervention and control arm was −0.59 (95% CI, −1.45 to 0.27). The odds of EIP detection were 14% lower in the rooms cleaned with the CAD wipe (OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.31–2.32).
The bacterial bioburden and odds of detection of EIPs were not statistically different in rooms cleaned with the CAD compared to the standard disinfectant after 24 hours. Although CAD technology appears promising in vitro, larger studies may be warranted to evaluate efficacy in clinical settings.
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.
Known concentrations of Staphylococcus aureus and Candida auris were applied on gloves and gowns then sampled with E-swabs and BBL liquid Amies swabs. The mean numbers of colony-forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL) obtained from culture of the 2 swab types were not different, suggesting that either can be used for recovery of these two pathogens from personal protective equipment.
Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) respiratory panels are rapid, highly sensitive tests for viral and bacterial pathogens that cause respiratory infections. In this study, we (1) described best practices in the implementation of respiratory panels based on expert perspectives and (2) identified tools for diagnostic stewardship to enhance the usefulness of testing.
We conducted a survey of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Research Network to explore current and future approaches to diagnostic stewardship of multiplex PCR respiratory panels.
In total, 41 sites completed the survey (response rate, 50%). Multiplex PCR respiratory panels were perceived as supporting accurate diagnoses at 35 sites (85%), supporting more efficient patient care at 33 sites (80%), and improving patient outcomes at 23 sites (56%). Thirteen sites (32%) reported that testing may support diagnosis or patient care without improving patient outcomes. Furthermore, 24 sites (58%) had implemented diagnostic stewardship, with a median of 3 interventions (interquartile range, 1–4) per site. The interventions most frequently reported as effective were structured order sets to guide test ordering (4 sites), restrictions on test ordering based on clinician or patient characteristics (3 sites), and structured communication of results (2 sites). Education was reported as “helpful” but with limitations (3 sites).
Many hospital epidemiologists and experts in infectious diseases perceive multiplex PCR respiratory panels as useful tests that can improve diagnosis, patient care, and patient outcomes. However, institutions frequently employ diagnostic stewardship to enhance the usefulness of testing, including most commonly clinical decision support to guide test ordering.
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.
Hospital readmission is unsettling to patients and caregivers, costly to the healthcare system, and may leave patients at additional risk for hospital-acquired infections and other complications. We evaluated the association between comorbidities present during index coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalization and the risk of 30-day readmission.
Design, setting, and participants:
We used the Premier Healthcare database to perform a retrospective cohort study of COVID-19 hospitalized patients discharged between April 2020 and March 2021 who were followed for 30 days after discharge to capture readmission to the same hospital.
Among the 331,136 unique patients in the index cohort, 36,827 (11.1%) had at least 1 all-cause readmission within 30 days. Of the readmitted patients, 11,382 (3.4%) were readmitted with COVID-19 as the primary diagnosis. In the multivariable model adjusted for demographics, hospital characteristics, coexisting comorbidities, and COVID-19 severity, each additional comorbidity category was associated with an 18% increase in the odds of all-cause readmission (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17–1.19) and a 10% increase in the odds of readmission with COVID-19 as the primary readmission diagnosis (aOR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.09–1.11). Lymphoma (aOR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.58–2.19), renal failure (aOR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.25–1.40), and chronic lung disease (aOR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.24–1.34) were most associated with readmission for COVID-19.
Readmission within 30 days was common among COVID-19 survivors. A better understanding of comorbidities associated with readmission will aid hospital care teams in improving postdischarge care. Additionally, it will assist hospital epidemiologists and quality administrators in planning resources, allocating staff, and managing bed-flow issues to improve patient care and safety.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a significant nosocomial pathogen in the ICU. MRSA contamination of healthcare personnel (HCP) gloves and gowns after providing care to patients with MRSA occurs at a rate of 14%–16% in the ICU setting. Little is known about whether the MRSA isolates identified on HCP gown and gloves following patient care activities are the same as MRSA isolates identified as colonizing or infecting the patient.
From a multisite cohort of 388 independent patient MRSA isolates and their corresponding HCP gown and glove isolates, we selected 91 isolates pairs using a probability to proportion size (PPS) sampling method. To determine whether the patient and HCP gown or gloves isolates were genetically similar, we used 5 comparative genomic typing methods: phylogenetic analysis, spa typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), large-scale BLAST score ratio (LSBSR), and single-nucleotide variant (SNV) analysis.
We identified that 56 (61.5%) of isolate pairs were genetically similar at least by 4 of the methods. Comparably, the spa typing and the LSBSR analyses revealed that >75% of the examined isolate pairs were concordant, with the thresholds established for each analysis.
Many of the patient MRSA isolates were genetically similar to those on the HCP gown or gloves following a patient care activity. This finding indicates that the patient is often the primary source of the MRSA isolates transmitted to the HCP, which can potentially be spread to other patients or hospital settings through HCP vectors. These results have important implications because they provide additional evidence for hospitals considering ending the use of contact precautions (gloves and gowns) for MRSA patients.
We examine the extent to which social networks among indigenous peoples in Mexico have a significant effect on a variety of human capital investment and economic activities, such as school attendance and work among teenage boys and girls, and migration, welfare participation, employment status, occupation, and sector of employment among adult males and females. Using data from the 10 percent population sample of the 2000 Population and Housing Census of Mexico and the empirical strategy that Bertrand, Luttmer, and Mullainathan (2000) propose, which allows us to take into account the role of municipality and language group fixed effects, we confirm empirically that social network effects play an important role in the economic decisions of indigenous people, especially in rural areas. Our analysis also provides evidence that better access to basic services such as water and electricity increases the size and strength of network effects in rural areas.
To evaluate the impact of a standardized, process-validated intervention utilizing daily hospital-wide patient-zone sporicidal disinfectant cleaning on incidence density of healthcare-onset Clostridioides difficile infection (HO-CDI) standardized infection ratios (SIRs).
Multi-site, quasi-experimental study, with control hospitals and a nonequivalent dependent variable.
The study was conducted across 8 acute-care hospitals in 6 states with stable endemic HO-CDI SIRs.
Following an 18-month preintervention control period, each site implemented a program of daily hospital-wide sporicidal disinfectant patient zone cleaning. After a wash-in period, thoroughness of disinfection cleaning (TDC) was monitored prospectively and optimized with performance feedback utilizing a previously validated process improvement program. Mean HO-CDI SIRs were calculated by quarter for the pre- and postintervention periods for both the intervention and control hospitals. We used a difference-in-differences analysis to estimate the change in the average HO-CDI SIR and HO-CAUTI SIR for the pre- and postintervention periods.
Following the wash-in period, the TDC improved steadily for all sites and by 18 months was 93.6% for the group. The mean HO-CDI SIRs decreased from 1.03 to 0.6 (95% CI, 0.13–0.75; P = .009). In the adjusted difference-in-differences analysis in comparison to controls, there was a 0.55 reduction (95% CI, −0.77 to −0.32) in HO-CDI (P < .001) or a 50% relative decrease from baseline.
This study represents the first multiple-site, quasi-experimental study with control hospitals and a nonequivalent dependent variable to evaluate a 4-component intervention on HO-CDI. Following ongoing improvement in cleaning thoroughness, there was a sustained 50% decrease in HO-CDI SIRs compared to controls.
Background: Under ideal circumstances, multiplex molecular respiratory panels can support early all discontinuation of unnecessary antibiotics by facilitating diagnosis of viral infection. Our goal was to identify clinic situations in which a positive respiratory panel was associated with antibiotic de-escalation. We focused on gram-negative antibiotics in recognition of the urgent threat posed by gram-negative resistance. Methods: The sample included hospitalized adults tested by respiratory panel while receiving gram-negative antibiotics at the University of Maryland Medical Center from 2015 to 2020. Only the first respiratory panel performed during hospitalization was included. The primary outcome was the combination of a positive result on respiratory panel indicating detection of a viral pathogen and de-escalation of gram-negative antibiotics. De-escalation was assessed based on antibiotics administered on day 3 after testing and was defined by discontinuation or switch to an agent with a narrower spectrum of activity. Least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression was used to construct the multivariable logistic regression model. Classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was used to identify subgroups with a higher likelihood of the primary outcome. Results: Of 8,326 patients, 1,462 (17.6%) tested positive by respiratory panel. The most common pathogen was rhinovirus (7.9% of the sample). Gram-negative–targeted antibiotics were de-escalated in 4,456 cases (53.5% of the sample), including 887 patients with a positive result on respiratory panel indicating a viral pathogen (60.7% of patients with a positive viral result). LASSO regression was used to select 12 variables (Table 1). Admitting diagnosis of pneumonia (OR, 1.42), comorbid substance abuse (OR, 1.39), chronic pulmonary disease (OR, 1.39), and admission from home (OR, 1.34) were associated with antibiotic de-escalation in conjunction with a positive respiratory panel. Leukocytosis (OR, 0.59), hematologic malignancy (OR, 0.64), mechanical ventilation at time of testing (OR, 0.68), and hypotension (OR, 0.77) were associated with decreased likelihood of antibiotic de-escalation in conjunction with a positive respiratory panel. CART analysis identified patients tested within 40 hours of admission as having a higher likelihood of a positive result in conjunction with antibiotic de-escalation. Among patients tested within 40 hours of admission, the probability of a positive result followed by antibiotic de-escalation was 11.9% (95% CI, 11.1%–12.8%). For patients tested >40 hours after admission, the probability was 6.0% (95% CI, 4.8%–7.2%). Conclusions: Targeted use of respiratory panel testing may increase the likelihood of an informative result that can drive decision making related to antibiotic use. Our exploratory analysis suggests that respiratory panel testing in the first 2 days
Automated virtual reality therapies are being developed to increase access to psychological interventions. We assessed the experience with one such therapy of patients diagnosed with psychosis, including satisfaction, side effects, and positive experiences of access to the technology. We tested whether side effects affected therapy.
In a clinical trial 122 patients diagnosed with psychosis completed baseline measures of psychiatric symptoms, received gameChange VR therapy, and then completed a satisfaction questionnaire, the Oxford-VR Side Effects Checklist, and outcome measures.
79 (65.8%) patients were very satisfied with VR therapy, 37 (30.8%) were mostly satisfied, 3 (2.5%) were indifferent/mildly dissatisfied, and 1 (0.8%) person was quite dissatisfied. The most common side effects were: difficulties concentrating because of thinking about what might be happening in the room (n = 17, 14.2%); lasting headache (n = 10, 8.3%); and the headset causing feelings of panic (n = 9, 7.4%). Side effects formed three factors: difficulties concentrating when wearing a headset, feelings of panic using VR, and worries following VR. The occurrence of side effects was not associated with number of VR sessions, therapy outcomes, or psychiatric symptoms. Difficulties concentrating in VR were associated with slightly lower satisfaction. VR therapy provision and engagement made patients feel: proud (n = 99, 81.8%); valued (n = 97, 80.2%); and optimistic (n = 96, 79.3%).
Patients with psychosis were generally very positive towards the VR therapy, valued having the opportunity to try the technology, and experienced few adverse effects. Side effects did not significantly impact VR therapy. Patient experience of VR is likely to facilitate widespread adoption.
Chest pain is a common complaint among paediatric patients and cardiac troponin (cTn) level is often part of the initial emergency department evaluation. It is well known that after intense endurance exercise cTn levels can be elevated in patients with otherwise healthy hearts, however the effect shorter duration exercise has on cTn levels in this population is not known.
Determine the behaviour of cTn levels in healthy children and adolescent patients after short burst, high-intensity aerobic exercise.
Patients without haemodynamically significant heart disease referred for a treadmill exercise stress test (EST) were recruited over a 6-month period. cTn levels were measured prior to exercise and 4 hours after exercise.
Thirteen patients enrolled. Indications for EST were exertional syncope (six), chest pain (four), and long QT syndrome (three). The median exercise time was 12.9 (9.9–13.7) minutes with an average endurance at the fiftieth percentile for age and maximum heart rate rose to an average of 92 (74–98)% of the predicted peak for age. cTn levels prior to exercise were undetectable in all patients. There was no cTn rise in any patient after exercise. There were no ischaemic changes or arrhythmias on exercise electrocardiograms.
Serum cTn levels do not rise significantly in healthy children after short duration, high-intensity aerobic exercise. Physicians evaluating paediatric patients with an elevated cTn level after less than prolonged strenuous activity likely cannot attribute this lab value solely to exercise and may need to undertake further cardiac investigation.
This study tests two sets of competing hypotheses about the relationship between trait reactivity to positive and negative stimuli (i.e., motivational reactivity), moral stances on social principles (i.e., social morality), and political ideology. The classic view contends that a specific political ideology or social morality results from a specific motivational reactivity pattern, whereas the dynamic coordination account suggests that trait motivational reactivity modulates an individual’s political ideology and social morality as a result of the majority political beliefs in their immediate social context. A survey using subjects recruited from a liberal-leaning social context was conducted to test these hypotheses. Results support the dynamic coordination account. Reactivity to negativity (indexed by defensive system activation scores) is associated with the adoption of the dominant social morality and political ideology. Reactivity to positivity (indexed by appetitive system activation scores) is associated with the adoption of nondominant social moral and political stances.
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.
Evidence supporting collection of follow-up blood cultures for Gram-negative bacteremia is mixed. We sought to understand why providers order follow-up blood cultures when managing P. aeruginosa bacteremia and whether follow-up blood cultures in this context are associated with short- and long-term survival.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult inpatients with P. aeruginosa bacteremia at the University of Maryland Medical Center in 2015–2020. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox regression with time-varying covariates were used to evaluate the association between follow-up blood cultures and time to mortality within 30 days of first positive blood culture. Provider justifications for follow-up blood cultures were identified through chart review.
Of 159 eligible patients, 127 (80%) had follow-up blood cultures, including 9 (7%) that were positive for P. aeruginosa and 10 (8%) that were positive for other organisms. Follow-up blood cultures were typically collected “to ensure clearance” or “to guide antibiotic therapy.” Overall, 30-day mortality was 25.2%. After risk adjustment for patient characteristics, follow-up blood cultures were associated with a nonsignificant reduction in mortality risk (hazard ratio, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 1.08; P = .071). In exploratory analyses, the potential mortality reduction from follow-up blood cultures was driven by their use in patients with Pitt bacteremia scores >0.
Follow-up blood cultures are commonly collected for P. aeruginosa bacteremia but infrequently identify persistent bacteremia. Targeted use of follow-up blood cultures based on severity of illness may reduce unnecessary culturing.