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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 infectious pathogen transmission data visualizations in outbreak publications.
Medline was searched for outbreak investigations of infectious diseases within healthcare facilities that included ≥1 data visualization of transmission using data observable by an infection preventionist showing temporal and/or spatial relationships. Abstracted data included the nature of the cluster(s) (pathogen, scope of transmission, and individuals involved) and data visualization characteristics including visualization type, transmission elements, and software.
From 1,957 articles retrieved, we analyzed 30 articles including 37 data visualizations. The median cluster size was 20.5 individuals (range, 7–1,963) and lasted a median of 214 days (range, 12–5,204). Among the data visualization types, 10 (27%) were floor-plan transmission maps, 6 (16%) were timelines, 11 (30%) were transmission networks, 3 (8%) were Gantt charts, 4 (11%) were cluster map, and 4 (11%) were other types. In addition, 26 data visualizations (70%) contained spatial elements, 26 (70%) included person type, and 19 (51%) contained time elements. None of the data visualizations contained contagious periods and only 2 (5%) contained symptom-onset date.
The data visualizations of healthcare-associated infectious disease outbreaks in the systematic review were diverse in type and visualization elements, though no data visualization contained all elements important to deriving hypotheses about transmission pathways. These findings aid in understanding the visualizing transmission pathways by describing essential elements of the data visualization and will inform the creation of a standardized mapping tool to aid in earlier initiation of interventions to prevent transmission.
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