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Interfacility patient movement plays an important role in the dissemination of antimicrobial-resistant organisms throughout healthcare systems. We evaluated how 3 alternative measures of interfacility patient sharing were associated with C. difficile infection incidence in Ontario acute-care facilities.
The cohort included adult acute-care facility stays of ≥3 days between April 2003 and March 2016. We measured 3 facility-level metrics of patient sharing: general patient importation, incidence-weighted patient importation, and C. difficile case importation. Each of the 3 patient-sharing metrics were examined against the incidence of C. difficile infection in the facility per 1,000 stays, using Poisson regression models.
The analyzed cohort included 6.70 million stays at risk of C. difficile infection across 120 facilities. Over the 13-year period, we included 62,189 new cases of healthcare-associated CDI (incidence, 9.3 per 1,000 stays). After adjustment for facility characteristics, general importation was not strongly associated with C. difficile infection incidence (risk ratio [RR] per doubling, 1.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.97–1.24; proportional change in variance [PCV], −2.0%). Incidence-weighted (RR per doubling, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.06–1.30; PCV, −8.4%) and C. difficile case importation (RR per doubling, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.29–1.58; PCV, −30.1%) were strongly associated with C. difficile infection incidence.
In this 13-year study of acute-care facilities in Ontario, interfacility variation in C. difficile infection incidence was associated with importation of patients from other high-incidence acute-care facilities or specifically of patients with a recent history of C. difficile infection. Regional infection control strategies should consider the potential impact of importation of patients at high risk of C. difficile shedding from outside facilities.
To better understand barriers and facilitators that contribute to antibiotic overuse in long-term care and to use this information to inform an evidence and theory-informed program.
Information on barriers and facilitators associated with the assessment and management of urinary tract infections were identified from a mixed-methods survey and from focus groups with stakeholders working in long-term care. Each barrier or facilitator was mapped to corresponding determinants of behavior change, as described by the theoretical domains framework (TDF). The Rx for Change database was used to identify strategies to address the key determinants of behavior change.
In total, 19 distinct barriers and facilitators were mapped to 8 domains from the TDF: knowledge, skills, environmental context and resources, professional role or identity, beliefs about consequences, social influences, emotions, and reinforcements. The assessment of barriers and facilitators informed the need for a multifaceted approach with the inclusion of strategies (1) to establish buy-in for the changes; (2) to align organizational policies and procedures; (3) to provide education and ongoing coaching support to staff; (4) to provide information and education to residents and families; (5) to establish process surveillance with feedback to staff; and (6) to deliver reminders.
The use of a stepped approach was valuable to ensure that locally relevant barriers and facilitators to practice change were addressed in the development of a regional program to help long-term care facilities minimize antibiotic prescribing for asymptomatic bacteriuria. This stepped approach provides considerable opportunity to advance the design and impact of antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Clostridium difficile spores play an important role in transmission and can survive in the environment for several months. Optimal methods for measuring environmental C. difficile are unknown. We sought to determine whether increased sample surface area improved detection of C. difficile from environmental samples.
Samples were collected from 12 patient rooms in a tertiary-care hospital in Toronto, Canada.
Samples represented small surface-area and large surface-area floor and bedrail pairs from single-bed rooms of patients with low (without prior antibiotics), medium (with prior antibiotics), and high (C. difficile infected) shedding risk. Presence of C. difficile in samples was measured using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) with targets on the 16S rRNA and toxin B genes and using enrichment culture.
Of the 48 samples, 64·6% were positive by 16S qPCR (geometric mean, 13·8 spores); 39·6% were positive by toxin B qPCR (geometric mean, 1·9 spores); and 43·8% were positive by enrichment culture. By 16S qPCR, each 10-fold increase in sample surface area yielded 6·6 times (95% CI, 3·2–13) more spores. Floor surfaces yielded 27 times (95% CI, 4·9–181) more spores than bedrails, and rooms of C. difficile–positive patients yielded 11 times (95% CI, 0·55–164) more spores than those of patients without prior antibiotics. Toxin B qPCR and enrichment culture returned analogous findings.
Clostridium difficile spores were identified in most floor and bedrail samples, and increased surface area improved detection. Future research aiming to understand the role of environmental C. difficile in transmission should prefer samples with large surface areas.
Antibiotic use varies widely between hospitals, but the influence of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) on this variability is not known. We aimed to determine the key structural and strategic aspects of ASPs associated with differences in risk-adjusted antibiotic utilization across facilities.
Observational study of acute-care hospitals in Ontario, Canada
A survey was sent to hospitals asking about both structural (8 elements) and strategic (32 elements) components of their ASP. Antibiotic use from hospital purchasing data was acquired for January 1 to December 31, 2014. Crude and adjusted defined daily doses per 1,000 patient days, accounting for hospital and aggregate patient characteristics, were calculated across facilities. Rate ratios (RR) of defined daily doses per 1,000 patient days were compared for hospitals with and without each antimicrobial stewardship element of interest.
Of 127 eligible hospitals, 73 (57%) participated in the study. There was a 7-fold range in antibiotic use across these facilities (min, 253 defined daily doses per 1,000 patient days; max, 1,872 defined daily doses per 1,000 patient days). The presence of designated funding or resources for the ASP (RRadjusted, 0·87; 95% CI, 0·75–0·99), prospective audit and feedback (RRadjusted, 0·80; 95% CI, 0·67–0·96), and intravenous-to-oral conversion policies (RRadjusted, 0·79; 95% CI, 0·64–0·99) were associated with lower risk-adjusted antibiotic use.
Wide variability in antibiotic use across hospitals may be partially explained by both structural and strategic ASP elements. The presence of funding and resources, prospective audit and feedback, and intravenous-to-oral conversion should be considered priority elements of a robust ASP.
Prior data suggest that vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) bacteremia is associated with worse outcomes than vancomycin-sensitive Enterococcus (VSE) bacteremia. However, many studies evaluating such outcomes were conducted prior to the availability of effective VRE therapies.
To systematically review VRE and VSE bacteremia outcomes among hospital patients in the era of effective VRE therapy.
Electronic databases and grey literature published between January 1997 and December 2014 were searched to identify all primary research studies comparing outcomes of VRE and VSE bacteremias among hospital patients, following the availability of effective VRE therapies. The primary outcome was all-cause, in-hospital mortality, while total hospital length of stay (LOS) was a secondary outcome. All meta-analyses were conducted in Review Manager 5.3 using random-effects, inverse variance modeling.
Among all the studies reviewed, 12 cohort studies and 1 case control study met inclusion criteria. Similar study designs were combined in meta-analyses for mortality and LOS. VRE bacteremia was associated with increased mortality compared with VSE bacteremia among cohort studies (odds ratio [OR], 1.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38–2.35; I2=0%; n=11); the case-control study estimate was similar, but not significant (OR, 1.93; 95% CI, 0.97–3.82). LOS was greater for VRE bacteremia patients than for VSE bacteremia patients (mean difference, 5.01 days; 95% CI, 0.58–9.44]; I2=0%; n=5).
Despite the availability of effective VRE therapy, VRE bacteremia remains associated with an increased risk of in-hospital mortality and LOS when compared to VSE bacteremia.
We describe the impact of enhanced infection control interventions on controlling the spread of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in our hematology–oncology unit. Between April and September 1998, 13 patients on this unit were identified as having VRE. In addition to contact precautions, other measures that were needed to control the outbreak included closure of the unit to new admissions, creation of a cohort of VRE-positive patients and staff, and thorough cleaning of patients' rooms with 0.5% sodium hypochlorite.
We report an unusual cluster of Burkholderia cepacia in patients. Environmental cultures identified indigo-carmine dye used in enteral feeding as the reservoir. Compared with the controls, the cases were significantly more likely to have received tube feedings tinted with this dye. This outbreak was terminated with the removal of the dye from hospital inventory.
We have used High Velocity Oxy-Fuel (HVOF) thermal spray coating process to obtain tungsten carbide coatings on steel. It is important to control the powder quality and surface roughness of the substrate in the thermal spray coating process to obtain good adherence. The adhesive strength is greatly effected by the interfacial impurities. Most commonly used in the thermal spray industry is Al2O3 grit abrasive for good surface roughness of steel substrate to produce anchor patterns for the coating. The previous studies indicated that some fine Al2O3 particles are trapped in the rough surface grooves during this process. The ring shear test method, described previously, appears to give the most accurate results on shear adhesive strength. The ring shear strength test was comprised of a 0.02” thick and 0.25” wide ring coating on a 1” diameter cylindrical substrate rod. This rod is placed in a disk with a cylindrical hole of the rod size and an incremental pressure is applied on the rod.
Thermal spray of carbide coatings with high hardness and corrosion resistance onto steel substrates has technological importance. The adhesive strength is greatly effected by the interfacial impurities. Low porous and good quality 200 μm thick 86WC10Co4Cr coatings on 4140 steel are obtained by thermal spray methods using SC-HVOF gun at Cooper Oil Tools, Houston, TX. A Carl Zeiss DSM942 SEM with 3.5 nm resolution at 30 keV and Kevex LPX1 Super Dry Quantum Si(Li) Detector with < 145 eV resolution for Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDXS) were used to study the elemental distribution across the interface. Fig. 1 shows the SEM micrographs of the interface between 86WC10Co4Cr thermal spray coating and 4140 steel substrate. The anchor patterns seen at the interface are believed to improve the adhesive qualities between the coating and the substrate.
Thermal spray processing has become an important powder-consolidation technique to yield new materials for extremes of temperature, radiation, wear, corrosion and mechanical stresses. High Velocity Oxy-Fuel (HVOF) spray coating process gives higher deposition densities and coating hardness; lower oxide content and porosity. The adhesive strength of thermal spray coatings is greatly effected by the interfacial impurities. The ring shear test method shown in Fig. 1 appears to give the most accurate results on shear adhesive strength. A typical ring shear test result of 88WC12Co 1/4" ring HVOF thermal spray coating on 4140 steel rod using a Jet kote thermal spray gun is shown in Fig. 2. Repeated ring shear tests on similar samples prepared under same spray and test conditions resulted in different shear bond strength and coating ring displacement before break off. We examined the ring shear tested coatings using a Zeiss DMS942 Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Kevex Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (EDXS) with LPX1 Quantum Si(Li) Detector.
Between November 1990 and June 1993, Burkholderia cepacia was isolated from the blood cultures of 13 neonates born at the Ottawa General Hospital. Eight of the 13 neonates appeared symptomatic, and only 4 were treated with appropriate antimicrobial therapy, but all improved clinically. In August 1993, the blood gas analyzer in the neonatal intensive-care unit was found to be contaminated heavily with B cepacia. Eight available patient isolates were identical to the isolates recovered from the blood gas analyzer by ribotyping analysis. Infection control measures were implemented to prevent future contamination of the analyzer, and no further cases have been identified.
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