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Since the initial publication of A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals in 2008, the prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) has continued to be a national priority. Progress in healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, antimicrobial stewardship, and implementation science research has led to improvements in our understanding of effective strategies for HAI prevention. Despite these advances, HAIs continue to affect ∼1 of every 31 hospitalized patients,1 leading to substantial morbidity, mortality, and excess healthcare expenditures,1 and persistent gaps remain between what is recommended and what is practiced.
The widespread impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on HAI outcomes2 in acute-care hospitals has further highlighted the essential role of infection prevention programs and the critical importance of prioritizing efforts that can be sustained even in the face of resource requirements from COVID-19 and future infectious diseases crises.3
The Compendium: 2022 Updates document provides acute-care hospitals with up-to-date, practical expert guidance to assist in prioritizing and implementing HAI prevention efforts. It is the product of a highly collaborative effort led by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Infectious Disease 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 organizations and societies with content expertise, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society (PIDS), the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the Society for Hospital Medicine (SHM), the Surgical Infection Society (SIS), and others.
Background:Candida auris is a frequently drug-resistant yeast that can cause invasive disease and is easily transmitted in healthcare settings. Pediatric cases are rare in the United States, with <10 reported before 2022. In August 2021, the first C. auris case in Las Vegas was identified in an adult. By May 2022, 117 cases were identified across 16 healthcare facilities, including 3 pediatric cases at an acute-care hospital (ACH) with adult cases, representing the first pediatric cluster in the United States. The CDC and Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (NVDPBH) sought to describe these cases and risk factors for C. auris acquisition. Methods: We defined a case as a patient’s first positive C. auris specimen. We reviewed medical records and infection prevention and control (IPC) practices. Environmental sampling was conducted on high-touch surfaces throughout affected adult and pediatric units. Isolate relatedness was assessed using whole-genome sequencing (WGS). Results: All 3 pediatric patients were born at the facility and had congenital heart defects. All were aged <6 months when they developed C. auris bloodstream infections; 2 developed C. auris endocarditis. One patient died. Patients overlapped in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit; 2 did not leave between birth and C. auris infection. Mobile medical equipment was shared between adult and pediatric patients; lapses in cleaning and disinfection of shared mobile medical equipment and environmental surfaces were observed, presenting opportunities for transmission. Overall, 32 environmental samples were collected, and C. auris was isolated from 2 specimens from an adult unit without current cases. One was a composite sample from an adult patient’s bed handles, railings, tray table and call buttons, and the second was from an adult lift-assistance device. WGS of specimens from adult and pediatric cases and environmental isolates were in the same genetic cluster, with 2–10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) different, supporting within-hospital transmission. The pediatric cases varied by 0–3 SNPs; at least 2 were highly related. Conclusions:C. auris was likely introduced to the pediatric population from adults via inadequately cleaned and disinfected mobile medical equipment. We made recommendations to ensure adequate cleaning and disinfection and implement monitoring and audits. No pediatric cases have been identified since. This investigation demonstrates transmission can occur between unrelated units and populations and that robust infection prevention and control practices throughout the facility are critical for reducing C. auris environmental burden and limiting transmission, including to previously unaffected vulnerable populations, like children.
Background:Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a gram-negative, biofilm-producing bacterium that is ubiquitous in water environments and often associated with healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Outbreaks of S. maltophilia bloodstream infections are a rare event and raise the suspicion of a common source. We used whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for an investigation of a cluster of S. maltophilia HAIs at a single hospital. Methods: A patient was defined as an intensive care unit (ICU) patient with fever and S. maltophilia isolated from a culture and who was treated for an HAI from May to October 2022. The response to the cluster included an epidemiologic investigation, water infection control risk assessments (WICRA), and environmental sampling. We also conducted WGS to characterize and assess relatedness between clinical and environmental S. maltophilia isolates. Results: From May 5 to October 1, 2022, we identified 11 HAIs due to S. maltophilia: 9 bloodstream infections and 2 ventilator-associated pneumonia cases. The initial epidemiological investigation did not identify common medical products, procedures, or personnel as an exposure source. The WICRA identified several breaches that may have exposed patients to contaminated water from sink backsplashes in the ICU, computerized tomography (CT) rooms, and the emergency department. In the CT rooms, saline bags were sometimes used for multiple patients, as were single-use intravenous contrast solution bottles. No additional cases were identified once infection control breaches were mitigated by installing sink splashguards, disinfecting drains, dedicating sink use for handwashing, and adhering to single-patient use of pharmaceutical products in the CT rooms. Of 46 environmental water samples, 19 were culture-positive for S. maltophilia. Isolates available for WGS included 7 clinical isolates (6 blood and 1 respiratory) and 17 environmental isolates. Among the 24 isolates sequenced, 16 unique multilocus sequence types (MLSTs) were identified. The 6 blood isolates sequenced were highly related (ST239, 0–4 high-quality, single-nucleotide variants [hqSNV] over 98.99% core genome), suggesting a common source. Two clusters of related environmental isolates were identified; however, overall MLST and hqSNV analyses suggested no relatedness between clinical and environmental isolates. Conclusions: An ICU cluster of S. maltophilia bloodstream infections was likely associated with water contamination of room surfaces and use of single-use intravenous products for multiple patients in the setting of a national pharmaceutical product shortage. This investigation highlights the importance of strong surveillance and water infection control, including routine assessment of ancillary areas in which intravenous products are administered and interdisciplinary collaboration to properly mitigate nosocomial transmission.
This document introduces and explains common implementation concepts and frameworks relevant to healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention and control and can serve as a stand-alone guide or be paired with the “SHEA/IDSA/APIC Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2022 Updates,” which contain technical implementation guidance for specific healthcare-associated infections. This Compendium article focuses on broad behavioral and socio-adaptive concepts and suggests ways that infection prevention and control teams, healthcare epidemiologists, infection preventionists, and specialty groups may utilize them to deliver high-quality care. Implementation concepts, frameworks, and models can help bridge the “knowing-doing” gap, a term used to describe why practices in healthcare may diverge from those recommended according to evidence. It aims to guide the reader to think about implementation and to find resources suited for a specific setting and circumstances by describing strategies for implementation, including determinants and measurement, as well as the conceptual models and frameworks: 4Es, Behavior Change Wheel, CUSP, European and Mixed Methods, Getting to Outcomes, Model for Improvement, RE-AIM, REP, and Theoretical Domains.
The purpose of this document is to highlight practical recommendations to assist acute-care hospitals in prioritization and implementation of strategies to prevent healthcare-associated infections through hand hygiene. This document updates the Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals through Hand Hygiene, published in 2014. This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology (SHEA). It is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the American Hospital Association, and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise.
We describe a large outbreak of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) involving an acute-care hospital emergency department during December 2020 and January 2021, in which 27 healthcare personnel worked while infectious, resulting in multiple opportunities for SARS-CoV-2 transmission to patients and other healthcare personnel. We provide recommendations for improving infection prevention and control.
Background: In March–April 2021, 23 patients at a 906-bed hospital in Delaware had surgical implantation of a bone graft product contaminated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis; 17 patients were rehospitalized for surgical site infections and 6 developed pulmonary tuberculosis. In May 2021, we investigated this tuberculosis outbreak and conducted a large, multidisciplinary, contact investigation among healthcare personnel (HCP) and patients potentially exposed over an extended period in multiple departments. Methods: Exposed HCP were those identified by their managers as present, without the use of airborne precautions, in operating rooms (ORs) during index spine surgeries or subsequent procedures, the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) when patients had draining wounds, inpatient rooms when wound care was performed, and the sterile processing department (SPD) on the days repeated surgeries were performed. We created and assigned an online education module and symptom screening questionnaire to exposed HCP. Employee health services (EHS) instituted a dedicated phlebotomy station to provide interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) testing for HCP at ≥8 weeks after last known exposure. EHS managed all exposed HCP, including nonemployees (eg, private surgeons) via automated e-mail reminders, which were escalated through supervisory chains as needed until follow-up completion. The infection prevention team notified exposed patients, defined as those who shared semiprivate rooms with case patients with transmissible tuberculosis. The Delaware Division of Public Health performed IGRA testing. Results: There were 506 exposed HCP in ORs (n = 100), the PACU (n = 87), inpatient units (n = 140), the SPD (n = 54), and other locations (n = 122); 83% were employed by the health system. Surgical masks and eye protection were routinely used during patient care. All exposed HCP completed screening by December 17, 2021. Furthermore, 2 HCP had positive IGRAs without symptoms or chest radiograph abnormalities, indicating latent tuberculosis infection, but after further review of records and interviews, we discovered that they had previously tested positive and had been treated for latent tuberculosis infection. In addition, 5 exposed patients tested negative and 2 remain pending. Conclusions: This large investigation demonstrated the need for a systematic process that encompassed all exposed HCP including nonemployees and incorporated administrative controls to ensure complete follow-up. We did not identify any conversions related to this outbreak despite high burden of disease in case patients and multiple exposures to contaminated bone-graft material and infectious bodily fluids without respirator use. Transmission risk was likely reduced by baseline surgical mask use and rapid institution of airborne precautions after outbreak recognition.
With this survey, we investigated healthcare-associated invasive mold infection (HA-IMI) surveillance and air sampling practices in US acute-care hospitals. More than half of surveyed facilities performed HA-IMI surveillance and air sampling. HA-IMI surveillance was more commonly performed in academic versus nonacademic facilities. HA-IMI case definitions and sampling strategies varied widely among respondents.
Background: The Targeted Assessment for Prevention (TAP) strategy is a quality improvement framework created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to facilitate the reduction of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). TAP facility assessments are a component of the TAP strategy and are completed by staff across the facility to help identify perceptions of and target infection prevention gaps. We have described the gaps most commonly reported by facilities completing TAP facility assessments for catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). Methods: TAP CAUTI and CLABSI assessments were completed by acute-care facilities across the nation, with CDC technical assistance, from December 2014 to August 2019. Similar questions across 2 versions of CAUTI assessments and 3 versions of CLABSI assessments were combined. Analysis was limited to facilities with ≥10 assessments. Infection prevention gaps were defined as ≥33% respondents answering Unknown, ≥33% respondents answering “no,” or ≥50% of respondents answering “no” and “unknown” or “never” and “rarely” “sometimes” “unknown.” The analysis was completed at the facility level, and the gaps most commonly reported across facilities were identified. Results: In total, 1,942 CAUTI assessments from 42 facilities in 12 states and 1,623 CLABSI assessments from 29 facilities in 11 states were included for analysis. The mean numbers of assessments per facility were 46.2 for CAUTIs and 56.0 for CLABSIs. Across both CAUTIs and CLABSIs, commonly reported perceptions about infection prevention gaps included lack of physician and nurse champions for prevention activities, failure to conduct competency assessments, and inconsistency in select device insertion practices (Fig. 1). For CAUTIs, lack of practices to facilitate timely removal of urinary catheters were also commonly reported, with one-third of facilities reporting inconsistency in use of alerts for catheter removal, 78.6% reporting lack of physician response to these alerts, and 90.5% reporting deficiencies in removing unnecessary catheters in the postanesthesia care unit. For CLABSIs, 79.3% of facilities reported failure to replace central lines within 48 hours after emergent insertion, and 62.1% reported that feedback was not provided to staff on central-line device utilization ratios. Conclusion: For both assessments, absence of CAUTI and CLABSI prevention champions, failure to conduct competency assessments, and inconsistency in performing device insertion practices were commonly reported across facilities. These common gaps have and will continue to inform the development of tools and resources to improve infection prevention practices as well as help to better target the implementation of interventions.
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