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To evaluate the impact of a diagnostic stewardship intervention on Clostridioides difficile healthcare-associated infections (HAI).
Quality improvement study.
Two urban acute care hospitals.
All inpatient stool testing for C. difficile required review and approval prior to specimen processing in the laboratory. An infection preventionist reviewed all orders daily through chart review and conversations with nursing; orders meeting clinical criteria for testing were approved, orders not meeting clinical criteria were discussed with the ordering provider. The proportion of completed tests meeting clinical criteria for testing and the primary outcome of C. difficile HAI were compared before and after the intervention.
The frequency of completed C. difficile orders not meeting criteria was lower [146 (7.5%) of 1,958] in the intervention period (January 10, 2022–October 14, 2022) than in the sampled 3-month preintervention period [26 (21.0%) of 124; P < .001]. C. difficile HAI rates were 8.80 per 10,000 patient days prior to the intervention (March 1, 2021–January 9, 2022) and 7.69 per 10,000 patient days during the intervention period (incidence rate ratio, 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.73–1.05; P = .13).
A stringent order-approval process reduced clinically nonindicated testing for C. difficile but did not significantly decrease HAIs.
To evaluate variables that affect risk of contamination for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and endoscopic ultrasound endoscopes.
Observational, quality improvement study.
University medical center with a gastrointestinal endoscopy service performing ∼1,000 endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and ∼1,000 endoscopic ultrasound endoscope procedures annually.
Duodenoscope and linear echoendoscope sampling (from the elevator mechanism and instrument channel) was performed from June 2020 through September 2021. Operational changes during this period included standard reprocessing with high-level disinfection with ethylene oxide gas sterilization (HLD–ETO) was switched to double high-level disinfection (dHLD) (June 16, 2020–July 15, 2020), and duodenoscopes changed to disposable tip model (March 2021). The frequency of contamination for the co-primary outcomes were characterized by calculated risk ratios.
The overall pathogenic contamination rate was 4.72% (6 of 127). Compared to duodenoscopes, linear echoendoscopes had a contamination risk ratio of 3.64 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.69–19.1). Reprocessing using HLD-ETO was associated with a contamination risk ratio of 0.29 (95% CI, 0.06–1.54). Linear echoendoscopes undergoing dHLD had the highest risk of contamination (2 of 18, 11.1%), and duodenoscopes undergoing HLD-ETO and the lowest risk of contamination (0 of 53, 0%). Duodenoscopes with a disposable tip had a 0% contamination rate (0 of 27).
We did not detect a significant reduction in endoscope contamination using HLD-ETO versus dHLD reprocessing. Linear echoendoscopes have a risk of contamination similar to that of duodenoscopes. Disposable tips may reduce the risk of duodenoscope contamination.
The North Carolina Legislature appropriated funds in 2016–2019 for the Healthy Food Small Retailer Program (HFSRP), providing small retailers located in food deserts with equipment to stock nutrient-dense foods and beverages. The study aimed to: (1) examine factors facilitating and constraining implementation of, and participation in, the HFSRP from the perspective of storeowners and (2) measure and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of investment in the HFSRP.
The current analysis uses both qualitative and quantitative assessments of storeowner perceptions and store outcomes, as well as two innovative measures of policy investment effectiveness. Qualitative semi-structured interviews and descriptive quantitative approaches, including monthly financial reports and activity forms, and end-of-programme evaluations were collected from participating HFSRP storeowners.
Eight corner stores in North Carolina that participated in the two cohorts (2016–2018; 2017–2019) of the HFSRP.
Owners of corner stores participating in the HFSRP.
All storeowners reported that the HFSRP benefitted their stores. In addition, the HFSRP had a positive impact on sales across each category of healthy food products. Storeowners reported that benefits would be enhanced with adjustments to programme administration and support. Specific suggestions included additional information regarding which healthy foods and beverages to stock; inventory management; handling of perishable produce; product display; modified reporting requirements and a more efficient process of delivering and maintaining equipment.
All storeowners reported several benefits of the HFSRP and would recommend that other storeowners participate. The barriers and challenges they reported inform potential approaches to ensuring success and sustainability of the HFSRP and similar initiatives underway in other jurisdictions.
An intermediate-depth (1751 m) ice core was drilled at the South Pole between 2014 and 2016 using the newly designed US Intermediate Depth Drill. The South Pole ice core is the highest-resolution interior East Antarctic ice core record that extends into the glacial period. The methods used at the South Pole to handle and log the drilled ice, the procedures used to safely retrograde the ice back to the National Science Foundation Ice Core Facility (NSF-ICF), and the methods used to process and sample the ice at the NSF-ICF are described. The South Pole ice core exhibited minimal brittle ice, which was likely due to site characteristics and, to a lesser extent, to drill technology and core handling procedures.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) following colorectal surgery (CRS) are among the most common healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Reduction in colorectal SSI rates is an important goal for surgical quality improvement.
To examine rates of SSI in patients with and without cancer and to identify potential predictors of SSI risk following CRS
American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) data files for 2011–2013 from a sample of 12 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) member institutions were combined. Pooled SSI rates for colorectal procedures were calculated and risk was evaluated. The independent importance of potential risk factors was assessed using logistic regression.
Of 22 invited NCCN centers, 11 participated (50%). Colorectal procedures were selected by principal procedure current procedural technology (CPT) code. Cancer was defined by International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes.
The primary outcome of interest was 30-day SSI rate.
A total of 652 SSIs (11.06%) were reported among 5,893 CRSs. Risk of SSI was similar for patients with and without cancer. Among CRS patients with underlying cancer, disseminated cancer (SSI rate, 17.5%; odds ratio [OR], 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23–2.26; P=.001), ASA score ≥3 (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.09–1.83; P=.001), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.06–2.53; P=.02), and longer duration of procedure were associated with development of SSI.
Patients with disseminated cancer are at a higher risk for developing SSI. ASA score >3, COPD, and longer duration of surgery predict SSI risk. Disseminated cancer should be further evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in generating risk-adjusted outcomes.