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Central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) surveillance in home infusion therapy is necessary to track efforts to reduce infections, but a standardized, validated, and feasible definition is lacking. We tested the validity of a home-infusion CLABSI surveillance definition and the feasibility and acceptability of its implementation.
Mixed-methods study including validation of CLABSI cases and semistructured interviews with staff applying these approaches.
This study was conducted in 5 large home-infusion agencies in a CLABSI prevention collaborative across 14 states and the District of Columbia.
From May 2021 to May 2022, agencies implemented a home-infusion CLABSI surveillance definition, using 3 approaches to secondary bloodstream infections (BSIs): National Healthcare Safety Program (NHSN) criteria, modified NHSN criteria (only applying the 4 most common NHSN-defined secondary BSIs), and all home-infusion–onset bacteremia (HiOB). Data on all positive blood cultures were sent to an infection preventionist for validation. Surveillance staff underwent semistructured interviews focused on their perceptions of the definition 1 and 3–4 months after implementation.
Interrater reliability scores overall ranged from κ = 0.65 for the modified NHSN criteria to κ = 0.68 for the NHSN criteria to κ = 0.72 for the HiOB criteria. For the NHSN criteria, the agency-determined rate was 0.21 per 1,000 central-line (CL) days, and the validator-determined rate was 0.20 per 1,000 CL days. Overall, implementing a standardized definition was thought to be a positive change that would be generalizable and feasible though time-consuming and labor intensive.
The home-infusion CLABSI surveillance definition was valid and feasible to implement.
Access to patient information may affect how home-infusion surveillance staff identify central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). We characterized information hazards in home-infusion CLABSI surveillance and identified possible strategies to mitigate information hazards.
Qualitative study using semistructured interviews.
Setting and participants:
The study included 21 clinical staff members involved in CLABSI surveillance at 5 large home-infusion agencies covering 13 states and the District of Columbia. Methods: Interviews were conducted by 1 researcher. Transcripts were coded by 2 researchers; consensus was reached by discussion.
Data revealed the following barriers: information overload, information underload, information scatter, information conflict, and erroneous information. Respondents identified 5 strategies to mitigate information chaos: (1) engage information technology in developing reports; (2) develop streamlined processes for acquiring and sharing data among staff; (3) enable staff access to hospital electronic health records; (4) use a single, validated, home-infusion CLABSI surveillance definition; and (5) develop relationships between home-infusion surveillance staff and inpatient healthcare workers.
Information chaos occurs in home-infusion CLABSI surveillance and may affect the development of accurate CLABSI rates in home-infusion therapy. Implementing strategies to minimize information chaos will enhance intra- and interteam collaborations in addition to improving patient-related outcomes.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) not adhering to physical distancing recommendations is a risk factor for acquisition of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The study objective was to assess the impact of interventions to improve HCW physical distancing on actual distance between HCWs in a real-life setting.
HCWs voluntarily wore proximity beacons to measure the number and intensity of physical distancing interactions between each other in a pediatric intensive care unit. We compared interactions before and after implementing a bundle of interventions including changes to the layout of workstations, cognitive aids, and individual feedback from wearable proximity beacons.
Overall, we recorded 10,788 interactions within 6 feet (∼2 m) and lasting >5 seconds. The number of HCWs wearing beacons fluctuated daily and increased over the study period. On average, 13 beacons were worn daily (32% of possible staff; range, 2–32 per day). We recorded 3,218 interactions before the interventions and 7,570 interactions after the interventions began. Using regression analysis accounting for the maximum number of potential interactions if all staff had worn beacons on a given day, there was a 1% decline in the number of interactions per possible interactions in the postintervention period (incident rate ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence interval, 0.98–1.00; P = .02) with fewer interactions occurring at nursing stations, in workrooms and during morning rounds.
Using quantitative data from wearable proximity beacons, we found an overall small decline in interactions within 6 feet between HCWs in a busy intensive care unit after a multifaceted bundle of interventions was implemented to improve physical distancing.
Physical distancing among healthcare workers (HCWs) is an essential strategy in preventing HCW-to-HCWs transmission of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
To understand barriers to physical distancing among HCWs on an inpatient unit and identify strategies for improvement.
Qualitative study including observations and semistructured interviews conducted over 3 months.
A non–COVID-19 adult general medical unit in an academic tertiary-care hospital.
HCWs based on the unit.
We performed a qualitative study in which we (1) observed HCW activities and proximity to each other on the unit during weekday shifts July–October 2020 and (2) conducted semi-structured interviews of HCWs to understand their experiences with and perspectives of physical distancing in the hospital. Qualitative data were coded based on a human-factors engineering model.
We completed 25 hours of observations and 20 HCW interviews. High-risk interactions often occurred during handoffs of care at shift changes and patient rounds, when HCWs gathered regularly in close proximity for at least 15 minutes. Identified barriers included spacing and availability of computers, the need to communicate confidential patient information, and the desire to maintain relationships at work.
Physical distancing can be improved in hospitals by restructuring computer workstations, work rooms, and break rooms; applying visible cognitive aids; adapting shift times; and supporting rounds and meetings with virtual conferencing. Additional strategies to promote staff adherence to physical distancing include rewarding positive behaviors, having peer leaders model physical distancing, and encouraging additional safe avenues for social connection at a safe distance.
In a qualitative study of healthcare workers and patients discharged on oral antibiotics, we identified 5 barriers to antibiotic decision making at hospital discharge: clinician perceptions of patient expectations, diagnostic uncertainty, attending physician–led versus multidisciplinary team culture, not accounting for total antibiotic duration, and need for discharge prior to complete data.
To test the feasibility of targeted gown and glove use by healthcare personnel caring for high-risk nursing-home residents to prevent Staphylococcus aureus acquisition in short-stay residents.
Uncontrolled clinical trial.
This study was conducted in 2 community-based nursing homes in Maryland.
The study included 322 residents on mixed short- and long-stay units.
During a 2-month baseline period, all residents had nose and inguinal fold swabs taken to estimate S. aureus acquisition. The intervention was iteratively developed using a participatory human factors engineering approach. During a 2-month intervention period, healthcare personnel wore gowns and gloves for high-risk care activities while caring for residents with wounds or medical devices, and S. aureus acquisition was measured again. Whole-genome sequencing was used to assess whether the acquisition represented resident-to-resident transmission.
Among short-stay residents, the methicillin-resistant S. aureus acquisition rate decreased from 11.9% during the baseline period to 3.6% during the intervention period (odds ratio [OR], 0.28; 95% CI, 0.08–0.92; P = .026). The methicillin-susceptible S. aureus acquisition rate went from 9.1% during the baseline period to 4.0% during the intervention period (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.12–1.42; P = .15). The S. aureus resident-to-resident transmission rate decreased from 5.9% during the baseline period to 0.8% during the intervention period.
Targeted gown and glove use by healthcare personnel for high-risk care activities while caring for residents with wounds or medical devices, regardless of their S. aureus colonization status, is feasible and potentially decreases S. aureus acquisition and transmission in short-stay community-based nursing-home residents.
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 systematically assess enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) doffing safety risks.
We employed a 3-part approach to this study: (1) hierarchical task analysis (HTA) of the PPE doffing process; (2) human factors-informed failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA); and (3) focus group sessions with a convenience sample of infection prevention (IP) subject matter experts.
A large academic US hospital with a regional Special Pathogens Treatment Center and enhanced PPE doffing protocol experience.
Eight IP experts.
The HTA was conducted jointly by 2 human-factors experts based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention PPE guidelines. The findings were used as a guide in 7 focus group sessions with IP experts to assess PPE doffing safety risks. For each HTA task step, IP experts identified failure mode(s), assigned priority risk scores, identified contributing factors and potential consequences, and identified potential risk mitigation strategies. Data were recorded in a tabular format during the sessions.
Of 103 identified failure modes, the highest priority scores were associated with team members moving between clean and contaminated areas, glove removal, apron removal, and self-inspection while preparing to doff. Contributing factors related to the individual (eg, technical/ teamwork competency), task (eg, undetected PPE contamination), tools/technology (eg, PPE design characteristics), environment (eg, inadequate space), and organizational aspects (eg, training) were identified. Participants identified 86 types of risk mitigation strategies targeting the failure modes.
Despite detailed guidelines, our study revealed 103 enhanced PPE doffing failure modes. Analysis of the failure modes suggests potential mitigation strategies to decrease self-contamination risk during enhanced PPE doffing.
The emergence and spread of extensively multidrug-resistant organisms is a public health crisis, and long-term care settings have been identified as a reservoir for the cultivation of these organisms. Long-term care settings are now taking on increasingly ill residents with complicated medical problems, indwelling devices, and significant healthcare exposure, all of which are considered risk factors selecting for resistant organisms. Despite this, guidelines addressing infection prevention procedures in long-term care remain vague, and implementation of these guidelines is challenging, largely due to staff turnover, limited resources, knowledge gaps, and lack of organizational support. Human factors engineering approaches have emerged as an important innovation to address patient safety issues and develop interventions in the healthcare work system (ie, tools and technologies, tasks, organization, physical environment) that support human performance, which, in turn, lead to improvements in processes (eg, compliance with infection prevention guidelines) and outcomes (eg, reduced infection rates). We propose the concept of using the methods and approaches from the scientific field of human factors engineering to address the unique challenges of implementing infection prevention in the long-term care setting.
In this systematic evaluation of fluorescent gel markers (FGM) applied to high-touch surfaces with a metered applicator (MA) made for the purpose versus a generic cotton swab (CS), removal rates were 60.5% (476 of 787) for the MA and 64.3% (506 of 787) for the CS. MA-FGM removal interpretation was more consistent, 83% versus 50% not removed, possibly due to less varied application and more adhesive gel.