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Background: Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are particularly burdensome among residents, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the devastating consequences of RTIs in LTCFs. This situation has prompted the need for LTCFs to have a robust, active surveillance system to assist LTCFs with RTI identification. Such a system could assist with faster implementation of appropriate antimicrobial therapy and critical infection prevention and control. The TN Emerging Infections Program worked with CDC EIP to implement a pilot project to test the feasibility of performing RTI surveillance to inform future changes to NHSN. Methods: We recruited 6 LTCFs to collect prospective RTI surveillance for 6 consecutive months from October 2021 through March 2022. Data were collected for all residents meeting the RTI surveillance definitions: pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infection, influenza-like illness (including influenza), and COVID-19. These data were entered by facility workers into a REDCap database with a prospective RTI LTCF event form. Monthly data collection summaries were submitted using a designated denominator form. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze RTI data, and analyses were performed using SAS version 9.4 software. Results: In total, 6 facilities participated in the pilot project during the capture period. The total number of RTI cases across all facilities was 195. December had the most cases (n = 50). The most common first triggers were new RTI signs or symptoms (67.69%), laboratory results (17.44%), imaging findings (6.67%), and clinician-diagnosed RTI (8.21%). The most reported symptom was new or increased cough (57.44%). Chest radiographs were performed for 50.77% of patients. Positive viral laboratory test results were documented 29.74% of the time. Antibiotic treatments were given to 70.77% of residents. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics were cephalosporins (22.56%), macrolides (17.95%), fluoroquinolones (12.31%), and doxycycline (9.23%). Also, 17.4% of cases with antibiotic regimens had cephalosporins as monotherapy. Vaccine documentation was as follows: influenza 2020–2021 (40.51%), influenza 2021–2022 (64.1%), complete COVID-19 vaccine series (82.56%), PPSV-23 vaccine (33.85%), and PCV-13 (23.59%). Conclusions: RTI surveillance was incorporated smoothly into the daily workflow for facilities; the biggest barrier to effective implementation was staff turnover. A scheduled weekly time to collect data and fill out forms proved most effective. A high percentage of cases was treated with cephalosporins as monotherapy, which, based on the latest guidelines, may be suboptimal. Individual reports were sent back to facilities with a comparison to the aggregated data. These data will be used to evaluate antibiotic appropriateness and to guide future RTI surveillance efforts in the LTCF setting.
Background: Healthcare facilities have experienced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including limited personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies. Healthcare personnel (HCP) rely on PPE, vaccines, and other infection control measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections. We describe PPE concerns reported by HCP who had close contact with COVID-19 patients in the workplace and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Method: The CDC collaborated with Emerging Infections Program (EIP) sites in 10 states to conduct surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 infections in HCP. EIP staff interviewed HCP with positive SARS-CoV-2 viral tests (ie, cases) to collect data on demographics, healthcare roles, exposures, PPE use, and concerns about their PPE use during COVID-19 patient care in the 14 days before the HCP’s SARS-CoV-2 positive test. PPE concerns were qualitatively coded as being related to supply (eg, low quality, shortages); use (eg, extended use, reuse, lack of fit test); or facility policy (eg, lack of guidance). We calculated and compared the percentages of cases reporting each concern type during the initial phase of the pandemic (April–May 2020), during the first US peak of daily COVID-19 cases (June–August 2020), and during the second US peak (September 2020–January 2021). We compared percentages using mid-P or Fisher exact tests (α = 0.05). Results: Among 1,998 HCP cases occurring during April 2020–January 2021 who had close contact with COVID-19 patients, 613 (30.7%) reported ≥1 PPE concern (Table 1). The percentage of cases reporting supply or use concerns was higher during the first peak period than the second peak period (supply concerns: 12.5% vs 7.5%; use concerns: 25.5% vs 18.2%; p Conclusions: Although lower percentages of HCP cases overall reported PPE concerns after the first US peak, our results highlight the importance of developing capacity to produce and distribute PPE during times of increased demand. The difference we observed among selected groups of cases may indicate that PPE access and use were more challenging for some, such as nonphysicians and nursing home HCP. These findings underscore the need to ensure that PPE is accessible and used correctly by HCP for whom use is recommended.
Background: Nationally, a decrease in total antibiotic use in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic was observed with an increase in select agents used for respiratory infections. Currently there is minimal data on antibiotic use in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) in Tennessee. To address this issue, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) developed a monthly point-prevalence survey of antibiotic use. Utilizing this tool, we sought to determine the effect the pandemic had on antibiotic use in Tennessee LTCFs. Method: We developed a REDCap questionnaire to collect information on selected antibiotics administered in Tennessee LTCFs. Antibiotic use percentage was determined by dividing the number of residents who received an antibiotic on the day of survey by facilities’ average censuses. Data were divided into a prepandemic period (January 2019–February 2020) and a period during the pandemic (March 2020–December 2021). Antibiotic prescriptions were grouped into 4 classes according to their most common uses: Clostridium difficile infections, urinary tract infections, skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTIs), and respiratory infections. Average percentage of residents on antibiotics were compared between study periods. Results: In total, 37 facilities participated in the survey during the prepandemic period and 32 facilities participated during the pandemic period; 14 participated during both periods. The average percentage of residents on antimicrobials before the pandemic was 16.3%, which decreased to 11.5% during the pandemic period (P = .04). During the prepandemic period, 40.2% of antibiotics prescribed were in the common for SSTI category and 38.3% were in the common for respiratory infections category (P = .01); during the pandemic period, 64.3% of antibiotics prescribed were in the common for SSTI category and 45.8% were in the common for respiratory infections category (P = .01). The 3 most prescribed antibiotics in the prepandemic period were amoxicillin (148 prescriptions), doxycycline (140 prescriptions), and levofloxacin (135 prescriptions). The 3 most prescribed antibiotics during the pandemic were doxycycline (141 prescriptions), levofloxacin (125 prescriptions), and trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole (115 prescriptions). Conclusions: Survey results revealed that antibiotic prescriptions commonly used for respiratory infections increased 7.5% during the pandemic study period. Additionally, the average percentage of residents on antimicrobials fell 4.8% during this period. Both statistics reflect what has been seen nationally with a decrease in antibiotic use with an increase in respiratory antibiotics. This could be due to multiple factors including decreased reporting, a change in healthcare delivery during the pandemic, and facilities seeing an increase of respiratory tract infections. These data will be used to guide future TDH antibiotic stewardship efforts in the long-term care setting.
Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
Background: In 2017, a new antimicrobial stewardship standard was established by the Joint Commission that requires long-term care facilities (LTCFs) to have an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) based on current scientific literature. The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) team sought to ascertain the current state of ASPs across Tennessee and to assist programs with implementation strategies. Utilizing a Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ Civil Monetary Penalties grant, the TDH purchased copies of the National Quality Partners Playbook for Antibiotic Stewardship in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care to provide to LTCFs as incentive to complete a survey that would evaluate their current adoption of core elements. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire on ASP practices was developed and distributed to LCTFs. This survey expanded upon questions from the NHSN 2018 LTCF annual survey. These questions pertained to actionable items facilities are taking to achieve core elements. Achievement of the CDC’s 7 core elements of ASPs was determined based upon a combination of 1 or more responses to the survey questions. The percentage of LTCFs achieving each ASP core element at the regional and statewide level was determined. We also calculated the percentage of LTCFs that achieved all 7 elements versus 5 or more core elements. The analyses and visualizations were performed using SAS 9.4 and Tableau software. Results: Currently, 88 of 316 licensed LTCF facilities in Tennessee have participated in the survey. All regions were represented by EMS region. Based on the results of our survey, 100% of participating facilities have achieved at least 5 core elements, and 78% of participating facilities have achieved all 7 core elements. The core element with the lowest achievement was Accountability at 89%, and reporting and action had the highest achievement (100%). Conclusions: Early results suggest that LTCFs across Tennessee have active ASPs with strong core element achievement. However, we received responses from only 27% of licensed LTCFs. Minimal data are available regarding the current state of LTCF ASPs in Tennessee, and data will continue to be collected and analyzed. Participation may be limited to those already actively engaged in public health efforts, including antimicrobial stewardship. LTCFs that have participated in the initial evaluation will be surveyed at 6 months and 12 months after receipt of playbooks to evaluate their ASP progression and NQP Playbook utilization.
Background: Antibiotic stewardship is an area of great concern in long-term care facilities nationwide. The CDC promotes 7 core elements of antimicrobial stewardship. Based on information obtained from the Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) Program, the 2 core elements most infrequently achieved by LTCFs are tracking and reporting. Currently, minimal data are available on antibiotic use (AU) in LTCFs in Tennessee. To address both issues, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) developed a monthly antibiotic use (AU) point-prevalence (PP) survey to provide LTCFs with a free tool to both track and report their AU and to gather data on how LTCFs are using antibiotics. Methods: We used REDCap to create a questionnaire to collect information on selected antibiotics administered in Tennessee LTCFs. This self-administered survey was promoted through the TDH monthly antimicrobial stewardship and infection control (ASIC) call as well as at various conferences and speaking engagements across the state. Antimicrobial stewardship leads for each facility were targeted. Antibiotics were grouped into 4 classes according to their indications: C. difficile infections, urinary tract infections, skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTIs) and respiratory infections. We determined AU percentage by dividing the number of days of therapy for a drug by a facility’s average census. Individualized reports are provided to each participating facility on a quarterly basis. Results: Currently, 16 facilities have participated in the survey. Overall, 40.7% of antibiotics prescribed were in the common for SSTI category and 39.3% were common for respiratory infections. The top 33 most commonly prescribed antibiotics were amoxicillin (156 days of therapy [DOT]), nitrofurantoin (92 DOT), and levofloxacin (88 DOT). The average percentage of residents on antimicrobials on the day of survey was 12.3%; within this group, 57% of antibiotics were initiated in the LTCF, whereas 43% were present upon admission. Conclusions: Early results from the TDH AU PP survey revealed that drugs commonly used for SSTIs and respiratory infection were the most common antibiotic prescriptions and a potential area of focus for TDH’s antimicrobial stewardship efforts. None of the 3 most frequently prescribed antibiotics, however, fall under the SSTI indication, despite SSTI being the most commonly prescribed indication based on the survey’s evaluation metrics. This finding could be related to the larger number of antibiotics that fall under the SSTI indication. Preliminary data are being used to guide the direction of TDH’s future ASIC calls to better suit disease states, which have room for improvement.
Background: The National Healthcare Safety Network’s (NHSN) Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Option offers hospitals a way to report antibiotic resistance data from their facility’s laboratory information system and create facility-specific antibiograms. Suppression of select antibiotic susceptibility results may be used by antibiotic stewardship teams to prevent unnecessary use of broad-spectrum therapies by not making those susceptibilities available to providers. To be of use, antibiograms should offer a complete picture of antibiotic resistance. We wanted to understand the impact of data suppression. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted including data from 2017 and 2018. The clinical susceptibility data for cefotaxime, ceftriaxone, ceftazidime, ertapenem, imipenem, and meropenem against carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA), Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB), and extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL) were collected from commercial antimicrobial susceptibility testing instruments (cASTI) in 3 Tennessee healthcare networks that also report to the NHSN AR Option. These data were linked to the NHSN data using 4 keys: date of birth, isolate collection date, pathogen, and specimen source. An isolate was defined as suppressed when susceptibility results were observed from the cASTI but not in NHSN. The proportions of suppressed results were calculated and stratified by genus, facility, and antibiotic. Results: Overall, 1,009 isolates were matched between the NHSN AR data and the laboratory test results. Of these, 4.1% were CRAB, 23.3% were CRPA, and 72.6% were Enterobacteriaceae. In total, 4,948 susceptibility results were available from cASTIs. Suppressed results in NHSN data were observed in 918 isolates (91.0%) and accounted for 2,797 results (56.6%). Of the 817 isolates tested against imipenem, 18.7% were found to be suppressed. Moreover, 100%, 57.9%, and 8.6% of imipenem tests against CRAB, CRPA, and Enterobacteriaceae, respectively, were suppressed. Of the suppressed results, 38.3%, 3.6%, and 58.1% were susceptible, intermediate, and resistant respectively. Of the 363 isolates tested against meropenem, 48.2% were found to be suppressed. In addition, 12.2%, 53.0%, and 52.2% of meropenem tests against CRAB, CRPA, and Enterobacteriaceae, respectively, were suppressed. Of the suppressed results, 47.4%, 11.4%, and 41.1% were susceptible, intermediate, and resistant, respectively. Conclusions: A large proportion of isolates had at least 1 analyzed antibiotic suppressed within the NHSN AR Option. It will be important to develop and implement strategies to ensure that nonsuppressed data are available to be reported to the NHSN AR module.
A survey of hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs was performed to validate core element achievement data from the National Healthcare Safety Network’s (NHSN) Patient Safety Component Annual Survey. In total, 89% of hospitals met all 7 core elements, compared to only 68% according to the NHSN survey.