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Background: Neutropenic fever management decisions are complex and result in prolonged duration of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Strategies for antibiotic stewardship in this context have been studied, including de-escalation of antibiotics prior to resolution of neutropenia, with unclear implementation. Here, we present the first survey study to describe real-world neutropenic fever management practices in US healthcare institutions, with particular emphasis on de-escalation strategies after initiation of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Methods: Using REDCap, we conducted a survey of US healthcare institutions through the SHEA Research Network (SRN). Questions pertained to antimicrobial prophylaxis and supportive care in the management of oncology patients and neutropenic fever management (including specific antimicrobial choices and clinical scenarios). Hematologic malignancy hospitalization (2020) and bone-marrow transplantation (2016–2020) volumes were obtained from CMS and Health Resources & Services Administration databases, respectively. Results: Overall, 23 complete responses were recorded (response rate, 35.4%). Collectively, these entities account for ~11.0% of hematologic malignancy hospitalizations and 13.3% bone marrow transplantations nationwide. Of 23 facilities, 19 had institutional guidelines for neutropenic fever management and 18 had institutional guidelines for prophylaxis, with similar definitions for neutropenic fever. Firstline treatment universally utilized antipseudomonal broad-spectrum IV antibiotics (20 of 23 use cephalosporin, 3 of 23 use penicillin agent, and no respondents use carbapenem). Fluoroquinolone prophylaxis was common for leukemia induction patients (18 of 23) but was mixed for bone-marrow transplantation (10 of 23). We observed significant heterogeneity in treatment decisions. For stable neutropenic fever patients with no clinical source of infection identified, 13 of 23 respondents continued IV antibiotics until ANC (absolute neutrophil count) recovery. The remainder had criteria for de-escalation back to prophylaxis prior to this (eg, a fever-free period). Respondents were more willing to de-escalate prior to ANC recovery in patients with identified clinical sources (14 of 23 de-escalations in patients with pneumonia) or microbiological sources (15 of 23 de-escalations in patients with bacteremia) after dedicated treatment courses. In free-text responses, several respondents described opportunities for more systemic de-escalation for antimicrobial stewardship in these scenarios. Conclusions: Our results illustrate the real-world management of neutropenic fever in US hospitals, including initiation of therapy, prophylaxis, and treatment duration. We found significant heterogeneity in de-escalation of empiric antibiotics relative to ANC recovery, highlighting a need for more robust evidence for and adoption of this practice.
The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format designed to assist physicians, nurses, and infection preventionists at acute-care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing their catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention efforts. This document updates the Strategies to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Acute-Care Hospitals published in 2014. 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.
Ordering Clostridioides difficile diagnostics without appropriate clinical indications can result in inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and misdiagnosis of hospital onset C. difficile infection. Manual processes such as provider review of order appropriateness may detract from other infection control or antibiotic stewardship activities.
We developed an evidence-based clinical algorithm that defined appropriateness criteria for testing for C. difficile infection. We then implemented an electronic medical record–based order-entry tool that utilized discrete branches within the clinical algorithm including history of prior C. difficile test results, laxative or stool-softener administration, and documentation of unformed bowel movements. Testing guidance was then dynamically displayed with supporting patient data. We compared the rate of completed C. difficile tests after implementation of this intervention at 5 hospitals to a historic baseline in which a best-practice advisory was used.
Using mixed-effects Poisson regression, we found that the intervention was associated with a reduction in the incidence rate of both C. difficile ordering (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63–0.88; P = .001) and C. difficile–positive tests (IRR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.76–0.91; P < .001). On segmented regression analysis, we identified a sustained reduction in orders over time among academic hospitals and a new reduction in orders over time among community hospitals.
An evidence-based dynamic order panel, integrated within the electronic medical record, was associated with a reduction in both C. difficile ordering and positive tests in comparison to a best practice advisory, although the impact varied between academic and community facilities.
Background: Patients requiring vascular catheters are at risk for bloodstream infections (BSIs), particularly those with central venous access devices (CVADs). Central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) may occur as a result of the introduction of pathogenic microbes during CVAD access procedures, including through the needleless connector. The use of an antiseptic scrub is recommended to disinfect the needleless connector before device access, and this procedure has been shown to reduce the risk for CLABSI. We identified perceived barriers and facilitators and assessed compliance with instructions for use of chlorhexidine or alcohol antisepsis products (CHG or IPA; 5-second scrub time plus 5-second dry time) and alcohol antisepsis products (IPA; facility protocol 15-second scrub time plus let dry) for needleless connector disinfection. Methods: We performed a multiple-methods study involving focus groups composed of a convenience sample of nurses and clinical observations of CVAD needleless-connector access procedures in 3 medical ICUs and 1 surgical ICU at 2 academic medical centers. We used open-ended questions to guide the focus-group discussions. We directly observed nursing staff performing needleless-connector disinfection following a time–motion paradigm using an electronic tool to document the observed needleless-connector access events and to measure needleless-connector antiseptic scrub times and dry times. Results: In total, 8 focus groups involving 28 nurses revealed access to the antiseptic product and lesser workload as best-practice facilitators of needleless-connector disinfection. Identified barriers were often the opposite of the facilitators, particularly the time required per needleless connector access using IPA and knowledge deficits regarding the need for disinfection between multiple needleless-connector accesses. From 36 observations, including a total of 48 access events, we determined that the mean scrub times were below the recommended times, especially for IPA (Table 1). Drying time after use of either antisepsis product was negligible. Conclusions: A lack of access to the disinfection product, emergency situations, and increased workload were perceived barriers to needleless-connector disinfection. Observed scrub times and drying times were shorter than recommended, much more so for IPA. These deficits in the performance of needleless-connector disinfection may increase the risk of CLABSI. Ongoing education and periodic competency evaluation of needleless-connector disinfection are needed to imbed and sustain best practices.
We prospectively surveyed SARS-CoV-2 RNA contamination in staff common areas within an acute-care hospital. An increasing prevalence of surface contamination was detected over time. Adjusting for patient census or community incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the proportion of contaminated surfaces did not predict healthcare worker COVID-19 infection on study units.
Tracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation provide essential support for patients with respiratory failure, but the course of mechanical ventilation may be complicated by adverse ventilator-associated events (VAEs), which may or may not be associated with infection. We sought to understand how the frequency of subglottic suction, an indicator of the quantity of sputum produced by ventilated patients, relates to the onset of all VAEs and infection-associated VAEs.
We performed a case-crossover study including 87 patients with VAEs, and we evaluated 848 days in the pre-VAE period at risk for a VAE.
Setting and participants:
Critically ill patients were recruited from the medical intensive care unit of an academic medical center.
We used the number of as-needed subglottic suctioning events performed per calendar day to quantify sputum production, and we compared the immediate pre-VAE period to the preceding period. We used CDC surveillance definitions for VAE and to categorize whether events were infection associated or not.
Sputum quantity measured by subglottic suction frequency is greater in the period immediately prior to VAE than in the preceding period. However, it does not discriminate well between infection-associated VAEs and VAEs without associated infection.
Subglottic suction frequency may serve as a valuable marker of sputum quantity, and it is associated with risk of a VAE. However, our results require validation in a broader population of mechanically ventilated patients and intensive care settings.
Background:Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in patients with hematologic malignancy. Due to both immunosuppression and frequent antibiotic exposures, up to one-third of inpatients receiving chemotherapy or stem-cell transplant develop CDI. Transmission of C. difficile in healthcare facilities occurs due to environmental surface contamination and hand carriage by healthcare workers from colonized and infected patients. We investigated the effectiveness of enhanced room cleaning in collaboration with environmental services (EVS) staff to prevent CDI transmission and infection.
Methods: From April 1, 2018, to September 30, 2018, a multimodal enhanced cleaning intervention was implemented on 2 oncology units at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. This intervention included real-time feedback to EVS staff following ATP bioluminescence monitoring. Additionally, all rooms on the intervention units underwent UV disinfection after terminal cleaning. We performed a system-level cohort study, comparing rates of CDI on the 2 study units to historic and 2 concurrent control units. Historic and concurrent control units received UV disinfection only for rooms with prior occupants with MRSA or CDI. All units during the intervention period received education on the importance of environmental cleaning for infection prevention. Mixed-effects Poisson regression was used to adjust for system-level confounders. Results: A median of 1.34 CDI cases per 1,000 patient days (IQR, 1.20–3.62) occurred during the 12-month baseline period. There was a trend toward a reduced rate of CDI across all units during the intervention period (median, 1.19; IQR, 0.00–2.47; P = .13) compared with all units during the historical period. Using mixed-effects Poisson regression, accounting for the random effects of study units, the intervention was associated with an incidence rate ratio for C. difficile of 0.72 compared to control units (95% CI, 0.53–0.97; P = .03). Average room turnaround time (TAT) increased across all units during the study period, from 78 minutes (IQR 74–81) to 92 minutes (IQR, 85–96; P < .001). Within the intervention period, TAT was higher on intervention units (median, 94 minutes; IQR, 92–98) compared to concurrent control units (median, 85; IQR, 80–92; P = .005). Conclusions: Enhanced environmental cleaning, including UV disinfection of all patient rooms and ATP bioluminescent monitoring with real-time feedback, was associated with a reduction in the incidence of CDI.
In 2019, a 42-year-old African man who works as an Ebola virus disease (EVD) researcher traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), near an ongoing EVD epidemic, to Philadelphia and presented to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Emergency Department with altered mental status, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. He was classified as a “wet” person under investigation for EVD, and his arrival activated our hospital emergency management command center and bioresponse teams. He was found to be in septic shock with multisystem organ dysfunction, including circulatory dysfunction, encephalopathy, metabolic lactic acidosis, acute kidney injury, acute liver injury, and diffuse intravascular coagulation. Critical care was delivered within high-risk pathogen isolation in the ED and in our Special Treatment Unit until a diagnosis of severe cerebral malaria was confirmed and EVD was definitively excluded.
This report discusses our experience activating a longitudinal preparedness program designed for rare, resource-intensive events at hospitals physically remote from any active epidemic but serving a high-volume international air travel port-of-entry.
We implemented a guideline for appropriate acid suppressant use in hematology-oncology patients. This intervention resulted in a sustained reduction in proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use without an increase in rates of gastrointestinal bleeding. Practice guidelines are effective in reducing PPI use, which is associated with risk of Clostridioides difficile infection.
In a cohort of inpatients with hematologic malignancy and positive enzyme immunoassay (EIA) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Clostridium difficile tests, we found that clinical characteristics and outcomes were similar between these groups. The method of testing is unlikely to predict infection in this population, and PCR-positive results should be treated with concern.
To evaluate the effectiveness of a computerized clinical decision support intervention aimed at reducing inappropriate Clostridium difficile testing
Retrospective cohort study
University of Pennsylvania Health System, comprised of 3 large tertiary-care hospitals
All adult patients admitted over a 2-year period
Providers were required to use an order set integrated into a commercial electronic health record to order C. difficile toxin testing. The order set identified patients who had received laxatives within the previous 36 hours and displayed a message asking providers to consider stopping laxatives and reassessing in 24 hours prior to ordering C. difficile testing. Providers had the option to continue or discontinue laxatives and to proceed with or forgo testing. The primary endpoint was the change in inappropriate C. difficile testing, as measured by the number of patients who had C. difficile testing ordered while receiving laxatives.
Compared to the 1-year baseline period, the intervention resulted in a decrease in the proportion of inappropriate C. difficile testing (29.6% vs 27.3%; P=.02). The intervention was associated with an increase in the number of patients who had laxatives discontinued and did not undergo C. difficile testing (5.8% vs 46.4%; P<.01) and who had their laxatives discontinued and underwent testing (5.4% vs 35.2%; P<.01). We observed a nonsignificant increase in the proportion of patients with C. difficile related complications (5.0% vs 8.9%; P=.11).
A C. difficile order set was successful in decreasing inappropriate C. difficile testing and improving the timely discontinuation of laxatives.
To assess the likelihood of antimicrobial streamlining between 2 antimicrobial stewardship methods.
Retrospective cohort study.
Large academic medical center.
Frequency and time to antimicrobial streamlining were compared during a prior authorization and a prospective audit period. Streamlining was defined as an antimicrobial change to a narrower agent if available or to a broader agent if the isolate was resistant to empiric therapy. Patients included were ≥18 years old with monomicrobial bacteremia with S. aureus, Enterococcus spp., or any aerobic Gram-negative organism.
A total of 665 cases of bacteremia met inclusion criteria. Frequency of streamlining was similar between periods for all cases of bacteremia (audit vs restriction: 60.7% vs 53.2%; P=.12), S. aureus bacteremia (73.2% vs 76.9%; P=.671), and Enterococcus bacteremia (81.6% vs 71.9%; P=.335). Compared to restriction, the audit period was associated with an increased frequency of streamlining for cases of Gram-negative bacteremia (51.4% vs 35.6%; odds ratio [OR], 1.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06–3.25), those on the medical service (67.9% vs 53.1%; OR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.09–3.16), and those admitted through the emergency department (71.6% vs 51.4%; OR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.24–4.34). Characteristics associated with increased streamlining included: absence of β-lactam allergy (P<.001), Gram-negative bacteremia (P<.001), admission through the emergency department (P=.001), and admission to a medical service (P=.011).
Compared with prior authorization, prospective audit increased antimicrobial streamlining for cases of Gram-negative bacteremia, those admitted through the emergency department, and those admitted to a medical but not surgical service.
To evaluate the impact of no-touch terminal room no-touch disinfection using ultraviolet wavelength C germicidal irradiation (UVGI) on C. difficile infection (CDI) rates on inpatient units with persistently high rates of CDI despite infection control measures.
Interrupted time-series analysis with a comparison arm.
3 adult hematology-oncology units in a large, tertiary-care hospital.
We conducted a 12-month prospective valuation of UVGI. Rooms of patients with CDI or on contact precautions were targeted for UVGI upon discharge using an electronic patient flow system. Incidence rates of healthcare-onset CDI were compared for the baseline period (January 2013–December 2013) and intervention period (February 2014–January 2015) on study units and non–study units using a mixed-effects Poisson regression model with random effects for unit and time in months.
During a 52-week intervention period, UVGI was deployed for 542 of 2,569 of all patient discharges (21.1%) on the 3 study units. The CDI rate declined 25% on study units and increased 16% on non-study units during the intervention compared to the baseline period. We detected a significant association between UVGI and decrease in CDI incidence (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.49; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.26–0.94; P=.03) on the study units but not on the non-study units. The impact of UVGI use on average room-cleaning time and turnaround time was negligible compared to the baseline period.
Targeted deployment of UVGI to rooms of high-risk patients at discharge resulted in a substantial reduction of CDI incidence without adversely impacting room turnaround.
To determine the clinical diagnoses associated with the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) pneumonia (PNEU) or lower respiratory infection (LRI) surveillance events
Retrospective chart review
A convenience sample of 8 acute-care hospitals in Pennsylvania
All patients hospitalized during 2011–2012
Medical records were reviewed from a random sample of patients reported to the NHSN to have PNEU or LRI, excluding adults with ventilator-associated PNEU. Documented clinical diagnoses corresponding temporally to the PNEU and LRI events were recorded.
We reviewed 250 (30%) of 838 eligible PNEU and LRI events reported to the NHSN; 29 reported events (12%) fulfilled neither PNEU nor LRI case criteria. Differences interpreting radiology reports accounted for most misclassifications. Of 81 PNEU events in adults not on mechanical ventilation, 84% had clinician-diagnosed pneumonia; of these, 25% were attributed to aspiration. Of 43 adult LRI, 88% were in mechanically ventilated patients and 35% had no corresponding clinical diagnosis (infectious or noninfectious) documented at the time of LRI. Of 36 pediatric PNEU events, 72% were ventilator associated, and 70% corresponded to a clinical pneumonia diagnosis. Of 61 pediatric LRI patients, 84% were mechanically ventilated and 21% had no corresponding clinical diagnosis documented.
In adults not on mechanical ventilation and in children, most NHSN-defined PNEU events corresponded with compatible clinical conditions documented in the medical record. In contrast, NHSN LRI events often did not. As a result, substantial modifications to the LRI definitions were implemented in 2015.
Previously published guidelines are available that provide 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 their catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention efforts. This document updates “Strategies to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Acute Care Hospitals,” published in 2008. This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise. The list of endorsing and supporting organizations is presented in the introduction to the 2014 updates.
Previously published guidelines are available that provide 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 their catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention efforts. This document updates “Strategies to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Acute Care Hospitals,” published in 2008. This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise. The list of endorsing and supporting organizations is presented in the introduction to the 2014 updates.
Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) is a national target for mandatory reporting and a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services target for value-based purchasing. Differences in chart review versus claims-based metrics used by national agencies and groups raise concerns about the validity of these measures.
Evaluate consistency and reasons for discordance among chart review and claims-based CLABSI events.
We conducted 2 multicenter retrospective cohort studies within 6 academic institutions. A total of 150 consecutive patients were identified with CLABSI on the basis of National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) criteria (NHSN cohort), and an additional 150 consecutive patients were identified with CLABSI on the basis of claims codes (claims cohort). Ail events had full-text medical record reviews and were identified as concordant or discordant with the other metric.
In the NHSN cohort, there were 152 CLABSIs among 150 patients, and 73.0% of these cases were discordant with claims data. Common reasons for the lack of associated claims codes included coding omission and lack of physician documentation of bacteremia cause. In the claims cohort, there were 150 CLABSIs among 150 patients, and 65.3% of these cases were discordant with NHSN criteria. Common reasons for the lack of NHSN reporting were identification of non-CLABSI with bacteremia meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for an alternative infection source.
Substantial discordance between NHSN and claims-based CLABSI indicators persists. Compared with standardized CDC chart review criteria, claims data often had both coding omissions and misclassification of non-CLABSI infections as CLABSI. Additionally, claims did not identify any additional CLABSIs for CDC reporting. NHSN criteria are a more consistent interhospital standard for CLABSI reporting.