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To analyze Clostridioides difficile testing in 3 hospitals in central North Carolina to validate previous racial health-disparity findings.
We completed a retrospective analysis of inpatient C. difficile tests from 2015 to 2021 at 3 university-affiliated hospitals in North Carolina. We calculated the number of C. difficile tests per 1,000 patient days stratified by race: White, Black, and non-White, non-Black (NWNB). We defined a unique C. difficile test as one that occurred in an inpatient unit with a matching laboratory accession ID and on differing calendar days. Tests were evaluated overall, by hospital, by year, and by positivity rate.
In total, 35,160 C. difficile tests and 2,571,850 patient days across all 3 hospitals from 2015 to 2021 were analyzed. The median number of C. difficile tests per 1,000 patient days was 13.85 (interquartile range [IQR], 9.88–16.07). Among all C. difficile tests, 5,225 (15%) were positive. White patients were administered more C. difficile tests (14.46 per 1,000 patient days) than Black patients (12.96; P < .0001) or NWNB race patients (10.27; P < .0001). Black patients were administered more tests than NWNB patients (P < .0001). White patients tested positive at a similar rate to Black patients (15% vs 15%; P = .3655) and higher than NWNB individuals (12%; P = .0061), and Black patients tested positive at a higher rate than NWNB patients (P = .0024).
White patients received more C. difficile tests than Black and NWNB patient groups when controlling for race patient days. Future studies should control for comorbidities and investigate community onset of C. difficile by race and ethnicity.
Background: Frequently used physical therapy (PT) equipment is notably difficult to disinfect due to equipment material and shape, however, the efficacy of standard disinfection of PT equipment is poorly understood. Methods: We completed a prospective observational microbiological analysis of fomites used in adult or pediatric PT at Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina, from September to December 2022. Predetermined study fomites were obtained after being used during a clinical shift and standard disinfection had been completed by clinical service staff. Fomites were split into 2 halves, left and right, for sampling. Samples were taken with premoistened cellulose sponges processed using the stomacher technique and were incubated on appropriate selective and general medias. We defined antimicrobial-resistant, clinically important pathogens (AMR-CIP) as MRSA, VRE, and MDR-gram-negative isolates, and non–AMR-CIP as MSSA, VSE, and gram-negative species. Study fomites were grouped as follows: (1) pediatric pig toy, (2) walking aids (walkers or canes), (3) balls (medicine, dodge, etc), and (4) other (foam roller, sliding board, etc). Results: In total, 47 patients, 61 fomites, and 122 were analyzed. Of the study patients, 24 (51%) were female, 13 (27%) had active infections, and 15 (32%) were on contact precautions. Because fomites were split in half, patients in the left and right study arms were identical. Overall, the median total colony-forming-units (CFU) of study fomites was 1,348 (IQR, 398–2,365): 468 (IQR, 161–1,230) for the left side study arm and 540 (IQR, 102–1,221) for the right study arm (P = .45). At the sample level, 52 (43%), 15 (12%), and 37 (30%) of 122 samples harbored any CIPs, AMR CIPs, or non-AMR CIPs, respectively. At the fomite level, 27 (44%), 5 (8%), 15(25%), and 7 (11%) of 61 fomites harbored any CIPs, only AMR-CIPs, only non-AMR CIPs, or both AMR and non-AMR CIPs, respectively. Generally, therapy balls were the most contaminated study fomites (n = 2,237; IQR, 1,425–2,658), and walking aids were most frequently contaminated with any CIPs (n = 26, 72%), AMR CIPs (n = 8, 22%), and non-AMR CIPs (n = 15, 47%). Discussion: Following routine disinfection, frequently used PT equipment remained heavily contaminated and harbored AMR and non-AMR CIPs, supporting the notion that PT equipment is difficult to disinfect via standard disinfection. Additionally, left-, and right-side fomite divisions had similar pathogens, suggesting that this sampling model of intrapatient comparisons may be helpful for resolving case-mix issues in future studies. Future work should focus on PT-specific enhanced disinfection strategies to improve the disinfection of PT equipment.
Financial support: This study was funded by PURioLABS.
Objectives: We estimated the change to health-service costs and health benefits resulting from a decision to adopt temporary isolation rooms, which are effective at isolating the patient within a general ward environment. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of the decision to adopt temporary isolation rooms in a Singapore hospital. Methods: Existing data were used to update a model of the impact of adopting temporary isolation rooms on healthcare-associated infections. We predicted the expected change to health service costs and health benefits, measured in life years gained. Uncertainty was addressed using probabilistic sensitivity analysis, and the findings were tested with plausible scenarios to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Results: We predicted 478 fewer HAIs per 100,000 occupied bed days resulting from a decision to adopt temporary isolation rooms. This decreased would result in cost savings of SGD$329,432 (US $247,302) and 1,754 life years gained. When the effectiveness of the intervention was set at 1% of cases of HAI prevented, the incremental cost per life year saved was SGD$16,519 (US $12,400), indicating that this would be a cost-effective measure in Singapore. Conclusions: We have provided evidence that adoption of a temporary isolation room would be cost-effective for Singapore acute-care hospitals. Using temporary isolation rooms may be a positive decision for other countries in the region with fewer resources for infection prevention and control.
To report the processes used to design and implement an assessment tool to inform funding decisions for competing health innovations in a tertiary hospital.
We designed an assessment tool for health innovation proposals with three components: “value to the institution,” “novelty,” and “potential for adoption and scaling.” The “value to the institution” component consisted of twelve weighted value attributes identified from the host institution’s annual report; weights were allocated based on a survey of the hospital’s leaders. The second and third components consisted of open-ended questions on “novelty” and “barriers to implementation” to support further dialogue. Purposive literature review was performed independently by two researchers for each assessment. The assessment tool was piloted during an institutional health innovation funding cycle.
We used 17 days to evaluate ten proposals. The completed assessments were shared with an independent group of panellists, who selected five projects for funding. Proposals with the lowest scores for “value to the institution” had less perceived impact on the patient-related value attributes of “access,” “patient centeredness,” “health outcomes,” “prevention,” and “safety.” Similar innovations were reported in literature in seven proposals; potential barriers to implementation were identified in six proposals. We included a worked example to illustrate the assessment process.
We developed an assessment tool that is aligned with local institutional priorities. Our tool can augment the decision-making process when funding health innovation projects. The tool can be adapted by others facing similar challenges of trying to choose the best health innovations to fund.
Background: Enhanced strategies for daily disinfection in acute-care hospital rooms are needed but are poorly understood. Methods: We conducted a randomized control trial pilot study in acute-care hospital rooms at Duke University Health System in Durham, North Carolina, comparing the efficacy of a novel EPA-registered quaternary ammonium disinfectant with 24-hour activity, Sani24, to routine daily disinfection. Rooms housing patients on contact precautions were enrolled. In each study room, the bedrails, overbed table, and sink were divided into 2 equal halves, or sides, labeled left and right, with sample areas of 2,000 cm2, 1,750 cm2, and 400 cm2, respectively. Each sample area side was then randomized 1:1 to intervention or control by a coin toss. Sani24 was applied to the surface of each intervention sample side and allowed to air dry. Control sides were left alone. Environmental services (EVS) staff were not involved in the study and were blinded to randomization status. Glogerm dots were applied to all 6 sample-area sides after application of the intervention to measure compliance of daily disinfection by EVS and the removal of the intervention agent. Microbiological samples were taken with sponges premoistened with neutralizing buffer from each sample area side for 6 total samples (3 intervention and 3 control) immediately before and 24 hours following application of the intervention agent. Clinically important pathogens (CIP) were defined as MRSA, VRE, and CRE. The primary outcome was room CFU on study day 1, which was compared using a Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Results: In total, 20 patient rooms were enrolled in the study, and 240 samples were obtained from 120 sites (60 intervention and 60 control) from November 2021 to January 2022. Enrolled patients were all on contact isolation and had an active infection; 15 (75%) were bedridden and 8 (40%) were female. On day 0, baseline contamination was similar between study arms: 7,460 (IQR,4,204–16,482) room CFU and 18 samples (30%) harboring CIP in the intervention arm versus 7,273 (IQR, 3,142–21,117) and 15 samples (25%) in the control arm (P = .49 and .47, respectively). On day 1, intervention areas had significantly lower CFU at 4,016 (IQR, 2,339–7,358) compared to controls at 6,112 CFU (IQR, 3,484–11,356; P = .01). No significant differences were detected between study arms regarding CIP recovery. Glogerm was minimally removed from sample areas (n = 7, 3%), and the result was similar between study arms. Conclusions: The use of the quaternary ammonium disinfectant with 24-hour activity on high-touch healthcare surfaces led to reduced contamination over a 24-hour period. Routine daily disinfection compliance by EVS was low since minimal sample areas had Glogerm removed
We estimated the annual bed days lost and economic burden of healthcare-associated infections to Singapore hospitals using Monte Carlo simulation. The mean (standard deviation) cost of a single healthcare-associated infection was S$1,809 (S$440) [or US$1,362 (US$331)]. This translated to annual lost bed days and economic burden of 55,978 (20,506) days and S$152.0 million (S$37.1 million) [or US$114.4 million (US$27.9 million)], respectively.
Methods that include the time-varying nature of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) avoid biases when estimating increased risk of death and excess length of stay. We determined the excess mortality risk and length of stay associated with HAIs among inpatients in Singapore using a multistate model that accommodates the timing of key events.
Analysis of existing prospective cohort study data.
Seven public acute-care hospitals in Singapore.
Inpatients reviewed in a HAI point-prevalence survey (PPS) conducted between June 2015 and February 2016.
We modeled each patient’s admission over time using 4 states: susceptible with no HAI, infected, died, and discharged alive. We estimated the excess mortality risk and length of stay associated with HAIs, with adjustment for the baseline characteristics between the groups for mortality risk.
We included 4,428 patients, of whom 469 had ≥1 HAI. Using a multistate model, the expected excess length of stay due to any HAI was 1.68 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15–2.21 days). Surgical site infections were associated with the longest excess length of stay of 4.68 days (95% CI, 2.60–6.76 days). After adjusting for baseline differences, HAIs were associated with increased hazards of in-hospital mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.32; 95% CI, 1.09–1.65) and decreased hazards in being discharged (aHR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.67–0.84).
HAIs are associated with increased length of hospital stay and mortality in hospitalized patients. Avoiding nosocomial infections can improve patient outcomes and free valuable bed days.
There is now a strong body of literature showing that bullying victimisation during childhood and adolescence precedes the later development of anxiety and depressive disorders. This study aimed to quantify the burden of anxiety and depressive disorders attributable to experiences of bullying victimisation for the Australian population.
This study updated a previous systematic review summarising the longitudinal association between bullying victimisation and anxiety and depressive disorders. Estimates from eligible studies published from inception until 18 August 2018 were included and meta-analyses were based on quality-effects models. Pooled relative risks were combined with a contemporary prevalence estimate for bullying victimisation for Australia in order to calculate population attributable fractions (PAFs) for the two mental disorder outcomes. PAFs were then applied to estimates of the burden of anxiety and depressive disorders in Australia expressed as disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).
The findings from this study suggest 7.8% of the burden of anxiety disorders and 10.8% of the burden of depressive disorders are attributable to bullying victimisation in Australia. An estimated 30 656 DALYs or 0.52% (95% uncertainty interval 0.33–0.72%) of all DALYs in both sexes and all ages in Australia were attributable to experiences of bullying victimisation in childhood or adolescence.
There is convincing evidence to demonstrate a causal relationship between bullying victimisation and mental disorders. This study showed that bullying victimisation contributes a significant proportion of the burden of anxiety and depressive disorders. The investment and implementation of evidence-based intervention programmes that reduce bullying victimisation in schools could reduce the burden of disease arising from common mental disorders and improve the health of Australians.
To estimate the additional health and economic burden of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) infections in Australian hospitals.
A simulation model based on existing evidence was developed to assess the additional mortality and costs of healthcare-associated AMR Escherichia coli (E. coli), Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecium, and Staphylococcus aureus infections.
Australian public hospitals.
Australian hospitals spent an additional AUD$5.8 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI], $2.2–$11.2 million) per year treating ceftriaxone-resistant E.coli bloodstream infections (BSI), and an estimated AUD$5.5 million per year (95% UI, $339,633–$22.7 million) treating MRSA patients. There are no reliable estimates of excess morbidity and mortality from AMR infections in sites other than the blood and in particular for highly prevalent AMR E. coli causing urinary tract infections (UTIs).
The limited evidence-base of the health impact of resistant infection in UTIs limits economic studies estimating the overall burden of AMR. Such data are increasingly important and are urgently needed to support local clinical practice as well as national and global efforts to curb the spread of AMR.
Estimates of the excess length of stay (LOS) attributable to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in which total LOS of patients with and without HAIs are biased because of failure to account for the timing of infection. Alternate methods that appropriately treat HAI as a time-varying exposure are multistate models and cohort studies, which match regarding the time of infection. We examined the magnitude of this time-dependent bias in published studies that compared different methodological approaches.
We conducted a systematic review of the published literature to identify studies that report attributable LOS estimates using both total LOS (time-fixed) methods and either multistate models or matching patients with and without HAIs using the timing of infection.
Of the 7 studies that compared time-fixed methods to multistate models, conventional methods resulted in estimates of the LOS to HAIs that were, on average, 9.4 days longer or 238% greater than those generated using multistate models. Of the 5 studies that compared time-fixed methods to matching on timing of infection, conventional methods resulted in estimates of the LOS to HAIs that were, on average, 12.6 days longer or 139% greater than those generated by matching on timing of infection.
Our results suggest that estimates of the attributable LOS due to HAIs depend heavily on the methods used to generate those estimates. Overestimation of this effect can lead to incorrect assumptions of the likely cost savings from HAI prevention measures.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(9):1089–1094
Healthcare-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are a major cause of morbidity, mortality, and cost among hospitalized patients. Little is known about their impact on post-discharge resource utilization. The purpose of this study was to estimate post-discharge healthcare costs and utilization attributable to positive MRSA cultures during a hospitalization.
Our study cohort consisted of patients with an inpatient admission lasting longer than 48 hours within the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system between October 1, 2007, and November 30, 2010. Of these patients, we identified those with a positive MRSA culture from microbiology reports in the VA electronic medical record. We used propensity score matching and multivariable regression models to assess the impact of positive culture on post-discharge outpatient, inpatient, and pharmacy costs and utilization in the 365 days following discharge.
Our full cohort included 369,743 inpatients, of whom, 3,599 (1.0%) had positive MRSA cultures. Our final analysis sample included 3,592 matched patients with and without positive cultures. We found that, in the 12 months following hospital discharge, having a positive culture resulted in increases in post-discharge pharmacy costs ($776, P<.0001) and inpatient costs ($12,167, P<.0001). Likewise, having a positive culture increased the risk of a readmission (odds ratio [OR]=1.396, P<.0001), the number of prescriptions (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.138; P<.0001) and the number of inpatient days (IRR, 1.204; P<.0001,) but decreased the number of subsequent outpatient encounters (IRR, 0.941; P<.008).
The results of this study indicate that MRSA infections are associated with higher levels of post-discharge healthcare cost and utilization. These findings indicate that financial benefits resulting from infection prevention efforts may extend beyond the initial hospital stay.
We performed a contingent valuation survey to elicit the opportunity cost of bed-days consumed by healthcare-associated infections in 11 European hospitals. The opportunity cost of a bed-day was significantly lower than the accounting cost; median values were €72 and €929, respectively (P < .001). Accounting methods overestimate the opportunity cost of bed-days.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(10):1294–1297
Interventions that prevent healthcare-associated infection should lead to fewer deaths and shorter hospital stays. Cleaning hands (with soap or alcohol) is an effective way to prevent the transmission of organisms, but rates of compliance with hand hygiene are sometimes disappointingly low. The National Hand Hygiene Initiative in Australia aimed to improve hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers, with the goal of reducing rates of healthcare-associated infection.
We examined whether the introduction of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative was associated with a change in infection rates. Monthly infection rates for healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections were examined in 38 Australian hospitals across 6 states. We used Poisson regression and examined 12 possible patterns of change, with the best fitting pattern chosen using the Akaike information criterion. Monthly bed-days were included to control for increased hospital use over time.
The National Hand Hygiene Initiative was associated with a reduction in infection rates in 4 of the 6 states studied. Two states showed an immediate reduction in rates of 17% and 28%, 2 states showed a linear decrease in rates of 8% and 11% per year, and 2 showed no change in infection rates.
The intervention was associated with reduced infection rates in most states. The failure in 2 states may have been because those states already had effective initiatives before the national initiative’s introduction or because infection rates were already low and could not be further reduced.
To estimate the excess length of stay in an intensive care unit (ICU) due to a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), using a multistate model that accounts for the timing of infection.
A cohort of 3,560 patients followed up for 36,806 days in ICUs.
Eleven ICUs in 3 Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
All patients admitted to the ICU during a defined time period with a central line in place for more than 24 hours.
The average excess length of stay due to a CLABSI increased in 10 of 11 ICUs and varied from -1.23 days to 4.69 days. A reduction in length of stay in Mexico was probably caused by an increased risk of death due to CLABSI, leading to shorter times to death. Adjusting for patient age and Average Severity of Illness Score tended to increase the estimated excess length of stays due to CLABSI.
CLABSIs are associated with an excess length of ICU stay. The average excess length of stay varies between ICUs, most likely because of the case-mix of admissions and differences in the ways that hospitals deal with infections.
To estimate the independent effect of a single lower respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, or other healthcare-acquired infection on length-of-stay and variable costs and to demonstrate the bias from omitted variables that is present in previous estimates.
Prospective cohort study.
A tertiary care referral hospital and regional district hospital in southeast Queensland, Australia.
Adults aged 18 years or older with a minimum inpatient stay of 1 night who were admitted to selected clinical specialities.
Urinary tract infection was not associated with an increase in length of hospital stay or variable costs. Lower respiratory tract infection was associated with an increase of 2.58 days in the hospital and variable costs of AU$24, whereas other types of infection were associated with an increased length of stay of 2.61 days but not with variable costs. Many other factors were found to be associated with increased length of stay and variable costs alongside healthcare-acquired infection. The exclusion of these variables caused a positive bias in the estimates of the costs of healthcare-acquired infection.
The existing literature may overstate the costs of healthcare-acquired infection because of bias, and the existing estimates of excess costs may not make intuitive sense to clinicians and policy makers. Accurate estimates of the costs of healthcare-acquired infection should be made and used in appropriately designed decision-analytic economic models (ie, cost-effectiveness models) that will make valid and believable predictions of the economic value of increased infection control.
To present a hypothetical model of the change in economic costs and health benefits to society that result from nosocomial infection control programs.
We use a modeling framework to represent how 2 types of costs change with nosocomial infection control programs: costs incurred by the hospital sector and community health services, as well as the private costs to patients. We also demonstrate how to value the health benefits of nosocomial infection control programs, using quality-adjusted life years.
Hypothetical modeling to incorporate the societal perspective.
A cohort of 50,000 simulated patients at risk of surgical site infection following total hip replacement.
A total of 8 hypothetical interventions that change costs and health outcomes among the cohort by preventing cases of surgical site infection following total hip replacement.
Results and Conclusions.
We demonstrate that when infection control interventions reduce economic costs and increase health benefits, they should be adopted without further question. If, however, interventions increase economic costs and increase health benefits, then the trade—off between costs and benefits should be examined. Decision-makers should assess the cost per unit of health benefit from infection control programs, consider the impact on health budgets, and compare infection control with alternative uses of scarce healthcare resources.
No information is available about the financial impact of central venous catheter (CVC)-associated bloodstream infection (BSI) in Mexico.
To calculate the costs associated with BSI in intensive care units (ICUs) in Mexico City.
An 18-month (June 2002 through November 2003), prospective, nested case-control study of patients with and patients without BSI.
Adult ICUs in 3 hospitals in Mexico City.
Patients and Methods.
A total of 55 patients with BSI (case patients) and 55 patients without BSI (control patients) were compared with respect to hospital, type of ICU, year of hospital admission, length of ICU stay, sex, age, and mean severity of illness score. Information about the length of ICU stay was obtained prospectively during daily rounds. The daily cost of ICU stay was provided by the finance department of each hospital. The cost of antibiotics prescribed for BSI was provided by the hospitals' pharmacy departments.
For case patients, the mean extra length of stay was 6.1 days, the mean extra cost of antibiotics was $598, the mean extra hospital cost was $11,591, and the attributable extra mortality was 20%.
In this study, the duration of ICU stay for patients with central venous catheter-associated BSI was significantly longer than that for control patients, resulting in increased healthcare costs and a higher attributable mortality. These conclusions support the need to implement preventive measures for hospitalized patients with central venous catheters in Mexico.
To identify the independent effect of pressure ulcers on excess length of stay and control for all observable factors that may also contribute to excess length of stay. Hospitalized patients who develop a pressure ulcer during their hospital stay are at a greater risk for increased length of stay as compared with patients who do not.
Cross-sectional, observational study.
Tertiary-care referral and teaching hospital in Australia.
Two thousand hospitalized patients 18 years and older who had a minimum stay in the hospital of 1 night and admission to selected clinical units.
Two thousand participants were randomly selected from 4,500 patients enrolled in a prospective survey conducted between October 2002 and January 2003. Quantile median robust regression was used to assess risk factors for excess length of hospital stay.
Having a pressure ulcer resulted in a median excess length of stay of 4.31 days. Twenty other variables were statistically significant at the 5% level in the final model.
Pressure ulcers make a significant independent contribution to excess length of hospitalization beyond what might be expected based on admission diagnosis. However, our estimates were substantially lower than those currently used to make predictions of the economic costs of pressure ulcers; existing estimates may overstate the true economic cost.