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Practical Healthcare Epidemiology takes a hands-on approach to infection prevention for physicians, healthcare epidemiologists, infection preventionists, microbiologists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Increased regulatory requirements and patient knowledge and involvement has elevated patient safety, healthcare-associated infections, antibiotic stewardship and quality-of-care to healthcare wide issues. This fully updated new edition brings together the expertise of leaders in healthcare epidemiology to provide best practice expert guidance on infection prevention for adult and pediatric patients in all types of healthcare facilities, from community hospitals and academic institutions, to long-term care and resource limited settings. Written in clear, straightforward terms to address prevention planning and immediate responses to specific situations, this is the go-to resource for any practitioners in medicine or public health involved in infection prevention, regardless of their current expertise in the field.
Risk adjustment is needed to fairly compare central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates between hospitals. Until 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) methodology adjusted CLABSI rates only by type of intensive care unit (ICU). The 2017 CDC models also adjust for hospital size and medical school affiliation. We hypothesized that risk adjustment would be improved by including patient demographics and comorbidities from electronically available hospital discharge codes.
Using a cohort design across 22 hospitals, we analyzed data from ICU patients admitted between January 2012 and December 2013. Demographics and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) discharge codes were obtained for each patient, and CLABSIs were identified by trained infection preventionists. Models adjusting only for ICU type and for ICU type plus patient case mix were built and compared using discrimination and standardized infection ratio (SIR). Hospitals were ranked by SIR for each model to examine and compare the changes in rank.
Overall, 85,849 ICU patients were analyzed and 162 (0.2%) developed CLABSI. The significant variables added to the ICU model were coagulopathy, paralysis, renal failure, malnutrition, and age. The C statistics were 0.55 (95% CI, 0.51–0.59) for the ICU-type model and 0.64 (95% CI, 0.60–0.69) for the ICU-type plus patient case-mix model. When the hospitals were ranked by adjusted SIRs, 10 hospitals (45%) changed rank when comorbidity was added to the ICU-type model.
Our risk-adjustment model for CLABSI using electronically available comorbidities demonstrated better discrimination than did the CDC model. The CDC should strongly consider comorbidity-based risk adjustment to more accurately compare CLABSI rates across hospitals.
To determine which comorbid conditions are considered causally related to central-line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and surgical-site infection (SSI) based on expert consensus.
Using the Delphi method, we administered an iterative, 2-round survey to 9 infectious disease and infection control experts from the United States.
Based on our selection of components from the Charlson and Elixhauser comorbidity indices, 35 different comorbid conditions were rated from 1 (not at all related) to 5 (strongly related) by each expert separately for CLABSI and SSI, based on perceived relatedness to the outcome. To assign expert consensus on causal relatedness for each comorbid condition, all 3 of the following criteria had to be met at the end of the second round: (1) a majority (>50%) of experts rating the condition at 3 (somewhat related) or higher, (2) interquartile range (IQR)≤1, and (3) standard deviation (SD)≤1.
From round 1 to round 2, the IQR and SD, respectively, decreased for ratings of 21 of 35 (60%) and 33 of 35 (94%) comorbid conditions for CLABSI, and for 17 of 35 (49%) and 32 of 35 (91%) comorbid conditions for SSI, suggesting improvement in consensus among this group of experts. At the end of round 2, 13 of 35 (37%) and 17 of 35 (49%) comorbid conditions were perceived as causally related to CLABSI and SSI, respectively.
Our results have produced a list of comorbid conditions that should be analyzed as risk factors for and further explored for risk adjustment of CLABSI and SSI.
To increase reliability of the algorithm used in our fully automated electronic surveillance system by adding rules to better identify bloodstream infections secondary to other hospital-acquired infections.
Intensive care unit (ICU) patients with positive blood cultures were reviewed. Central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) determinations were based on 2 sources: routine surveillance by infection preventionists, and fully automated surveillance. Discrepancies between the 2 sources were evaluated to determine root causes. Secondary infection sites were identified in most discrepant cases. New rules to identify secondary sites were added to the algorithm and applied to this ICU population and a non-ICU population. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and kappa were calculated for the new models.
Of 643 positive ICU blood cultures reviewed, 68 (10.6%) were identified as central line–associated bloodstream infections by fully automated electronic surveillance, whereas 38 (5.9%) were confirmed by routine surveillance. New rules were tested to identify organisms as central line–associated bloodstream infections if they did not meet one, or a combination of, the following: (I) matching organisms (by genus and species) cultured from any other site; (II) any organisms cultured from sterile site; (III) any organisms cultured from skin/wound; (IV) any organisms cultured from respiratory tract. The best-fit model included new rules I and II when applied to positive blood cultures in an ICU population. However, they didn’t improve performance of the algorithm when applied to positive blood cultures in a non-ICU population.
Electronic surveillance system algorithms may need adjustment for specific populations.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1396–1400
Central line–associated bloodstream infection (BSI) rates are a key quality metric for comparing hospital quality and safety. Traditional BSI surveillance may be limited by interrater variability. We assessed whether a computer-automated method of central line–associated BSI detection can improve the validity of surveillance.
Retrospective cohort study.
Eight medical and surgical intensive care units (ICUs) in 4 academic medical centers.
Traditional surveillance (by hospital staff) and computer algorithm surveillance were each compared against a retrospective audit review using a random sample of blood culture episodes during the period 2004–2007 from which an organism was recovered. Episode-level agreement with audit review was measured with κ statistics, and differences were assessed using the test of equal κ coefficients. Linear regression was used to assess the relationship between surveillance performance (κ) and surveillance-reported BSI rates (BSIs per 1,000 central line–days).
We evaluated 664 blood culture episodes. Agreement with audit review was significantly lower for traditional surveillance (κ [95% confidence interval (CI)] = 0.44 [0.37–0.51]) than computer algorithm surveillance (κ [95% CI] [0.52–0.64]; P = .001). Agreement between traditional surveillance and audit review was heterogeneous across ICUs (P = .001); furthermore, traditional surveillance performed worse among ICUs reporting lower (better) BSI rates (P = .001). In contrast, computer algorithm performance was consistent across ICUs and across the range of computer-reported central line–associated BSI rates.
Compared with traditional surveillance of bloodstream infections, computer automated surveillance improves accuracy and reliability, making interfacility performance comparisons more valid.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(12):1483–1490
Electronic surveillance for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is increasingly widespread. This is driven by multiple factors: a greater burden on hospitals to provide surveillance data to state and national agencies, financial pressures to be more efficient with HAI surveillance, the desire for more objective comparisons between healthcare facilities, and the increasing amount of patient data available electronically. Optimal implementation of electronic surveillance requires that specific information be available to the surveillance systems. This white paper reviews different approaches to electronic surveillance, discusses the specific data elements required for performing surveillance, and considers important issues of data validation.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(9):1083-1091
Manual surveillance for central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) by infection prevention practitioners is time-consuming and often limited to intensive care units (ICUs). An automated surveillance system using existing databases with patient-level variables and microbiology data was investigated.
Patients with a positive blood culture in 4 non-ICU wards at Barnes-Jewish Hospital between July 1, 2005, and December 31, 2006, were evaluated. CLABSI determination for these patients was made via 2 sources; a manual chart review and an automated review from electronically available data. Agreement between these 2 sources was used to develop the best-fit electronic algorithm that used a set of rules to identify a CLABSI. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and Pearson's correlation were calculated for the various rule sets, using manual chart review as the reference standard.
During the study period, 391 positive blood cultures from 331 patients were evaluated. Eighty-five (22%) of these were confirmed to be CLABSI by manual chart review. The best-fit model included presence of a catheter, blood culture positive for known pathogen or blood culture with a common skin contaminant confirmed by a second positive culture and the presence of fever, and no positive cultures with the same organism from another sterile site. The best-performing rule set had an overall sensitivity of 95.2%, specificity of 97.5%, positive predictive value of 90%, and negative predictive value of 99.2% compared with intensive manual surveillance.
Although CLABSIs were slightly overpredicted by electronic surveillance compared with manual chart review, the method offers the possibility of performing acceptably good surveillance in areas where resources do not allow for traditional manual surveillance.