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To evaluate a method to identify hospitals contributing to Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI) at subsequent hospitalizations.
Retrospective cohort study.
We merged 2014–2015 National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) inpatient CDI laboratory-identified events with hospital patient discharge data. For patients with incident community-onset CDI (CO CDI), we identified immediately preceding admissions (within 12 weeks) unrelated to CDI at different (exposure) hospitals. We calculated an exposure rate, and we selected hospitals with the highest (90th–100th percentile) rates by hospital type and compared these rates with reported standardized infection ratios (SIR) for CDI.
We successfully matched 44,691 of 58,842 NHSN CDI records (76.0%) with a hospital discharge record. Among 36,215 unique matched records, 5,234 (14.5%) had an admission not related to CDI within 12 weeks prior to an incident CO CDI event, and 1,574 of these admissions (30.1%) occurred in a different hospital. For 33 hospitals with an exposure ranking within the 90th–100th percentile, CDI SIRs for 22 (66.7%) were not significantly different; 3 (9.1%) were lower; and 8 (24.2%) were higher than the national baseline. Also, 12 (36.4%) had an SIR ≤1.0.
The identification of high-ranked exposure hospitals presents an alternative to SIR for measuring the contribution of hospitals to the CDI burden across the continuum of care. Further exploration of the potential factors leading to high exposure rank, such as antibiotic use and infection control practices, is indicated and may inform CDI prevention outreach to healthcare facilities and provider networks in California and elsewhere.
To investigate an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections and colonization in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Infection control assessment, environmental evaluation, and case-control study.
Newly built community-based hospital, 28-bed neonatal intensive care unit.
Neonatal intensive care unit patients receiving care between June 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014.
Case finding was performed through microbiology record review. Infection control observations, interviews, and environmental assessment were performed. A matched case-control study was conducted to identify risk factors for P. aeruginosa infection. Patient and environmental isolates were collected for pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to determine strain relatedness.
In total, 31 cases were identified. Case clusters were temporally associated with absence of point-of-use filters on faucets in patient rooms. After adjusting for gestational age, case patients were more likely to have been in a room without a point-of-use filter (odds ratio [OR], 37.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.16–∞). Case patients had higher odds of exposure to peripherally inserted central catheters (OR, 7.20; 95% CI, 1.75–37.30) and invasive ventilation (OR, 5.79; 95% CI, 1.39–30.62). Of 42 environmental samples, 28 (67%) grew P. aeruginosa. Isolates from the 2 most recent case patients were indistinguishable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis from water-related samples obtained from these case-patient rooms.
This outbreak was attributed to contaminated water. Interruption of the outbreak with point-of-use filters provided a short-term solution; however, eradication of P. aeruginosa in water and fixtures was necessary to protect patients. This outbreak highlights the importance of understanding the risks of stagnant water in healthcare facilities.
Across 366 California hospitals, we identified hospital-level characteristics predicting increased hospital-associated Clostridium difficile infection (HA-CDI) rates including more licensed beds, teaching and long-term acute care (LTAC) hospitals, and polymerase chain reaction testing. Adjustment for these characteristics impacted rankings in 24% of teaching hospitals, 13% of community hospitals, and 11% of LTAC hospitals.
Antibiograms have effectively improved antibiotic prescribing in acute-care settings; however, their effectiveness in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) is currently unknown.
To develop SNF-specific antibiograms and identify opportunities to improve antibiotic prescribing.
Design and Setting.
Cross-sectional and pretest-posttest study among residents of 3 Maryland SNFs.
Antibiograms were created using clinical culture data from a 6-month period in each SNF. We also used admission clinical culture data from the acute care facility primarily associated with each SNF for transferred residents. We manually collected all data from medical charts, and antibiograms were created using WHONET software. We then used a pretest-posttest study to evaluate the effectiveness of an antibiogram on changing antibiotic prescribing practices in a single SNF. Appropriate empirical antibiotic therapy was defined as an empirical antibiotic choice that sufficiently covered the infecting organism, considering antibiotic susceptibilities.
We reviewed 839 patient charts from SNF and acute care facilities. During the initial assessment period, 85% of initial antibiotic use in the SNFs was empirical, and thus only 15% of initial antibiotics were based on culture results. Fluoroquinolones were the most frequently used empirical antibiotics, accounting for 54.5% of initial prescribing instances. Among patients with available culture data, only 35% of empirical antibiotic prescribing was determined to be appropriate. In the single SNF in which we evaluated antibiogram effectiveness, prevalence of appropriate antibiotic prescribing increased from 32% to 45% after antibiogram implementation; however, this was not statistically significant (P = .32).
Implementation of antibiograms may be effective in improving empirical antibiotic prescribing in SNFs.
To investigate Acinetobacter baumannii infection, colonization, and transmission related to a long-term care facility (LTCF) providing subacute care (facility A).
We reviewed facility A and affiliated local hospital records for facility A residents with A. baumannii isolated during the period January 2009 through February 2010 and compared A. baumannii antimicrobial resistance patterns of residents with those of hospital patients. During March 2010, we implemented a colonization survey of facility A residents who received respiratory support or who could provide sputum samples and looked for A. baumannii colonization risks. Available clinical and survey isolates underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE); PFGE strains were linked with overlapping stays to identify possible transmission.
During the period January 2009 through February 2010, 33 facility A residents had A. baumannii isolates; all strains were multidrug resistant (MDR), which was a significantly higher prevalence of MDR strains than that found among isolates from hospital patients (81 [66%] of 122 hospital patient isolates were MDR; P < .001). The sputum survey found that 14 (20%) of 70 residents had A. baumannii colonization, which was associated with ventilator use (adjusted odds ratio, 4.24 [95% confidence interval, 1.06–16.93]); 12 (86%) of 14 isolates were MDR. Four facility A resident groups clustered with 3 PFGE strains and overlapping stays. One of these facility A residents also clustered with 3 patients at an affiliated hospital.
We documented substantial MDR A. baumannii infections and colonization with probable intra- and interfacility spread associated with a single LTCF providing subacute care. Given the limited infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship resources in such settings, regional collaborations among facilities across the spectrum of health care are needed to address this MDR threat.
To assess antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) and strategies in California general acute care hospitals and to describe the effect of state legislation (Senate Bill 739) requiring hospitals to develop processes for evaluating the judicious use of antimicrobials.
Web-based survey of general acute care hospitals.
All 422 general acute care hospital campuses in California were invited to participate.
Responses from 223 (53%) of California's general acute care hospital campuses were included and were statistically representative of all acute care hospital campuses by region but not bed size or rurality. Community hospitals represented 73% of respondents. Fifty percent of hospitals described a current ASP and 30% reported planning an ASP; of these, 51% reported measuring outcomes. Twenty percent of hospitals reported no planned ASP or uncertainty whether an ASP existed and described barriers including staffing constraints (47%), lack of funding (42%), and lack of initiation of a formal proposal to start an ASP (42%). Of 135 responding hospitals, 22% reported that Senate Bill 739 influenced initiation of their ASP.
Although many studies have been published that describe hospital-specific ASPs, most have been described within academic centers, and there are limited assessments of ASP strategies across hospital systems. Our study verifies that many ASPs exist in California, particularly in community settings where a scarcity of antimicrobial restriction was thought to exist. Additionally, Senate Bill 739 appears to have played a role in initiating many hospital ASPs, which supports the adoption of similar legislation in other states and nationally.
To determine the magnitude of van-comycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in three counties in the San Francisco Bay area.
Active laboratory-based surveillance for VRE from January 1995 through December 1996 and a laboratory-based and hospital-based questionnaire survey for 1993 to 1994 and 1997 to 1998.
All 33 general acute care hospitals in three counties in the San Francisco Bay area.
Laboratories and infection control professionals serving these hospitals, and staff of the California Emerging Infections Program.
The number of hospitals reporting 1 or more patient clinical VRE isolates was 1 (3%) in 1993, 7 (21%) in 1994, 31 (94%) in 1995, and 33 (100%) in 1996 to 1998. The number of patient isolates increased from 1 in 1993 to 24 in 1994, 176 in 1995,429 in 1996, 730 in 1997, and 864 in 1998. Most VRE isolates in 1995 and 1996 were from urine and were not associated with serious clinical disease. However, the number of isolates from blood increased from 9 (6% of total) in 1995 to 44 (12% of the total) in 1996, 90 (14%) in 1997, and 100 (13%) in 1998.
Our data document the rapid emergence and increase of VRE in all hospitals in three counties in the San Francisco Bay area during 1994 to 1998. Infection control measures for VRE together with antibiotic utilization programs should be implemented to limit further spread.
To identify exposures associated with acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among residents with diabetes in a skilled nursing facility.
Residents from Unit 3 and other skilled nursing facility residents with diabetes were tested for serologic evidence of HBV infection. Two retrospective cohort studies were conducted. Potential routes of HBV transmission were evaluated by statistical comparison of attack rates.
A 269-bed skilled nursing facility.
All skilled nursing facility residents with diabetes and skilled nursing facility residents who lived on the same unit as the index case (Unit 3) for some time during the case's incubation period.
All 5 residents with acute HBV infection had diabetes and resided in Unit 3. The attack rate among the 12 patients with diabetes in Unit 3 was 42%, compared with 0% among 43 patients without diabetes (relative risk, 37.2; 95% confidence interval, 4.7 to ∞). Acutely infected patients with diabetes received more morning insulin doses (P = .05), and more insulin doses (P = .03) and finger sticks (P = .02) on Wednesdays than did noninfected patients with diabetes. Two chronically infected patients with diabetes in Unit 3 were positive for hepatitis B e antigen and regularly received daily insulin and finger sticks. Of the 4 acute and 3 chronically infected residents from whom HBV DNA was amplified, all were genotype F and had an identical 678-bp S region sequence. Although no component of the lancets or injection devices was shared among residents, opportunities for HBV contamination of diabetes care supplies were identified.
Contamination of diabetes care supplies resulted in resident-to-resident transmission of HBV. In any setting in which diabetes care is performed, staff need to be educated regarding appropriate infection control practices.
To investigate a perceived increase in central venous catheter (CVC)–associated bloodstream infections (BSIs) among pediatric hematology–oncology outpatients.
A case–control study.
A pediatric hematology–oncology outpatient clinic at Fresno Children's Hospital.
Pediatric hematology–oncology clinic outpatients with CVCs at Fresno Children's Hospital between November 1994 and October 1997.
A case-patient was defined as any hematology–oncology outpatient with a CVC-associated BSI at Fresno Children's Hospital from November 1996 to October 1997 (study period) without a localizable infection. To identify case-patients, we reviewed Fresno Children's Hospital records for all hematology–oncology clinic patients, those with CVCs and those with CVCs and BSIs. Control-patients were randomly selected hematology–oncology outpatients with a CVC but no BSI during the study period. Case-patient and control-patient demographics, diagnoses, caretakers, catheter types, catheter care, and water exposure were compared.
Twenty-five case-patients had 42 CVC-associated BSIs during the study period. No significant increase in CVC-associated BSI rates occurred among pediatric hematology–oncology patients. However, there was a statistically significant increase in nonendogenous, gram-negative (eg, Pseudomonas species) BSIs during summer months (May–October) compared with the rest of the year. Case-patients and control-patients differed only in catheter type; case-patients were more likely than control-patients to have a transcutaneous CVC. Summertime recreational water exposures were similar and high in the two groups.
Hematology–oncology clinic patients with transcutaneous CVCs are at greater risk for CVC-associated BSI, particularly during the summer. Caretakers should be instructed on proper care of CVCs, particularly protection of CVCs during bathing and recreational summer water activities, to reduce the risk of nonendogenous, gram-negative BSIs.
Healthcare professionals often are presented with data that appear to indicate an upward or downward trend over time. For example, admissions of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients appear to be increasing, cesarean section rates appear to be decreasing, or nosocomial pneumonia rates appear to be increasing. Critical decisions sometimes are based on such trends, which often are presented without a statistical analysis. Those responsible for decision making may be left wondering whether these apparent trends represent only chance variation. Graphs showing trends over time generally present one of three kinds of outcome data: counts (eg, three AIDS admissions), proportions (eg, 10 cesarean sections per 100 total deliveries), or person-time data (eg, 13 cases of nosocomial pneumonia per 10,000 patient days). Using familiar examples and a minimum of technical language, we illustrate the analysis of time trends.
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