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Vaccines serve as a major tool against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, but vaccine hesitancy remains a major concern in the United States. Healthcare workers (HCWs) strongly influence a patient’s decision to get vaccinated. We evaluated HCW knowledge and attitudes regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
In March 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic raged, and samples from the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) were sent offsite for testing. From April 3, 2020, DMC laboratories ran rapid Cepheid Xpert Xpress severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests within hospital labs. We detected differences in length of stay (LOS) and antibiotic duration between positive results from offsite and in-house tests.
Hospitalizations among skilled nursing facility (SNF) residents in Detroit increased in mid-March 2020 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Outbreak response teams were deployed from local healthcare systems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Detroit Health Department (DHD) to understand the infection prevention and control (IPC) gaps in SNFs that may have accelerated the outbreak.
We conducted 2 point-prevalence surveys (PPS-1 and PPS-2) at 13 Detroit SNFs from April 8 to May 8, 2020. The DHD and partners conducted facility-wide severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing of all residents and staff and collected information regarding resident cohorting, staff cohorting, and personnel protective equipment (PPE) utilized during that time.
Resident cohorting had been implemented in 7 of 13 (58.3%) SNFs prior to point-prevalence survey 1 (PPS-1), and other facilities initiated cohorting after obtaining PPS-1 results. Cohorting protocols of healthcare practitioners and environmental service staff were not established in 4 (31%) of 13 facilities, and in 3 facilities (23.1%) the ancillary staff were not assigned to cohorts. Also, 2 SNFs (15%) had an observation unit prior to PPS-1, 2 (15%) had an observation unit after PPS-1, 4 (31%) could not establish an observation unit due to inadequate space, and 5 (38.4%) created an observation unit after PPS-2.
On-site consultations identified gaps in IPC knowledge and cohorting that may have contributed to ongoing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among SNF residents despite aggressive testing measures. Infection preventionists (IPs) are critical in guiding ongoing IPC practices in SNFs to reduce spread of COVID-19 through response and prevention.
Background: Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has infected >26 million Americans with >400,000 deaths. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have demonstrated 95% efficacy; yet there has been growing vaccination hesitancy, especially within communities of color. To achieve herd immunity and quell the spread of SARS-CoV-2, several strategies need to be deployed. This community-based demonstration project highlights the impact of a panel of black physicians’ ability to increase vaccination intent within a social media campaign targeted toward a black audience, namely a live question-and-answer (Q&A) event on SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Methods: The social media campaign included a flyer featuring the head shots and titles of 11 black physicians. The flyer showcased a live Q&A event via Zoom video conference software. Attendees were requested to preregister with their name, e-mail address, and country of origin. Results: The live Q&A event was attended by 251 viewers. Geographic distribution was predominantly within the United States (~88%), but a few attendees were from the United Kingdom (~11%) and Canada (<1%), Puerto Rico (<1%), and Paraguay (<1%). One hundred twenty eight questions and comments were received from attendees. Audience questions were categorized, with predominant topics as follows: Vaccine Safety, Medical Mistrust, Vaccine Safety in Pregnancy, Vaccine Efficacy, and Vaccine Development. The top five poll results revealed: 31% of audience members were not planning to vaccinate or were not sure about vaccination, but after the event are now planning to vaccinate; 93% believed their knowledge of the C19 vaccines had increased; 95% believed it was important that the information was presented by Black health experts; 90% reported that they trusted the information presented; and 96% rated the session as “good or excellent”. Conclusion: Our social media project is an example of one strategy healthcare professionals can utilize to positively influence local and global communities in the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results of this project evaluation showed that viewers responded favorably, reporting increases in vaccine acceptance and knowledge. Most respondents also affirmed the importance of having black experts involved in communicating this information. COVID-19 has disproportionately affected black communities as a result of health inequities and institutionalized racism.1 The event amplifies the importance of utilizing social-media–based interventions and increasing black healthcare representation to aid infection control. 1. Jones C. Why Racism, Not Race, Is a Risk Factor for Dying of COVID-19. Scientific American June 12, 2020.
Background: Fungemia is associated with high rates of morbidity, mortality, and increase in length of hospital stay. Several studies have recognized increased rates of candidemia since the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Patients with candidemia during January through May 2020 were identified through Theradoc. Patient demographics, comorbidities, hospital management, and microbiology were extracted by medical chart review. Patients were divided into cohorts based on COVID-19 status. The Fisher exact and Satterthwaite tests were used for analyses of categorical and continuous variables, respectively. Results: Overall, 31 patients developed candidemia and 12 (38.7%) patients tested SARS-CoV-2 positive. Candida glabrata was the most prevalent causative organism in both groups. On average, COVID-19 patients developed fungemia 12.1 days from admission, compared to 17.8 days in the COVID-19 negative or untested cohort (P = .340). Additionally, COVID-19 patients with a fungemia coinfection were significantly more likely to expire; 10 COVID-19 patients (83.3%) died, compared to 7 (36.8%) in the COVID-19–negative or untested cohort (P = .025). The cohorts did not demonstrate statistically significant differences in terms of demographic, comorbidities, hospital management, or coinfections. Conclusions: The prevalence of fungemia in COVID-19 patients is significantly greater than historically reported figures. Known risk factors for candidemia, such as use of corticosteroid, use of central venous catheters, and prolonged ICU length of stay were higher in the SARS-CoV-2–positive cohort in this period, which likely contributed to increased fungemia rates, as these factors are also more pronounced in those with COVID-19. Patients who developed candidemia in the COVID-19 cohort had poorer outcomes than those who were SARS-CoV-2 negative or were untested. Further investigation should be conducted in larger studies.
Background: In 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), had cost the lives of >35,000 patients, particularly the most virulent plasmid-mediated New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM). Although healthcare systems normally have strict surveillance and infection control measures for CRE, the rapid emergence of novel SAR-CoV-2 and COVID-19 led to a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies. As a result, routine infection practices, such as contact precautions, were violated. Studies have shown this depletion and shift in resources compromised the control of infections such CRE leading to rising horizontal transmission. Method: A retrospective study was conducted at a tertiary healthcare system in Detroit, Michigan, to determine the impact of PPE shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic on NDM infection rates. The following periods were established during 2020 based on PPE availability: (1) pre-PPE shortage (January–June), (2) PPE shortage (July–October), and (3) post-PPE shortage (November–December). Rates of NDM per 10,000 patient days were compared between periods using the Wilcoxon signed rank-sum test. Isolates were confirmed resistant by NDM by molecular typing performed by the Michigan State Health Department. Patient characteristics were gathered by medical chart review and patient interviews by telephone. Results: Overall, the average rate of NDM infections was 1.82 ±1.5 per 10,000 patient days. Rates during the PPE shortage were significantly higher, averaging 3.6 ±1.1 cases per 10,000 patient days (P = .02). During this time, several infections occurred within patients on the same unit and/or patients with same treating team, suggesting possible horizontal transmission. Once PPE stock was replenished and isolation practices were reinstated, NDM infection rates decreased to 0.77 ±1.1 per 10,000 patient days. Conclusion: Control of CRE requires strategic planning with active surveillance, antimicrobial constructs, and infection control measures. The study illustrates that in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the burden of effective infection control requires much more multidisciplinary efforts to prevent unintentional lapses in patient safety. A swift response by the state and local health departments at a tertiary-care healthcare center conveyed a positive mitigation of the highest clinical threats and decreased horizontal transmission of disease.
Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) remains a key pathogen in burn patients and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Disruption of skin barrier exposes these individuals to a myriad of infections. Various decolonization approaches, including chlorhexidine baths and intranasal mupirocin, have shown favorable outcomes in preventing MRSA infections in this cohort. Methods: In August 2020, a mupirocin decolonization protocol was implemented in Michigan’s largest trauma-level 1 burn intensive care unit. All patients admitted to the burn unit received daily intranasal mupirocin for the initial 5 days of hospitalization. We compared MRSA bacteremia rates per 1,000 patient days from January–July 2020 to those after August 2020. A hospital-acquired MRSA bacteremia infection was defined as a positive blood culture after hospital day 3. Patient characteristics and hospital course were collected through medical chart review. A 2-tailed t test was used for analysis. Results: We identified 5 cases of hospital-onset MRSA bacteremia and no cases of community-onset MRSA bacteremia. On average, there were 2.6 cases per 1,000 patient days before mupirocin implementation and 1.0 cases per 1,000 patient days after mupirocin implementation (P = .26) (Figure 1). In this patient cohort, the average total body surface area burned was 45.6% (range, 18%–90%), and 60% (n = 3) of patients had sputum culture positive for MRSA prior to developing bacteremia (Table 1). Also, 2 patients (40%) with MRSA bacteremia died. Notably, the patient in the postintervention cohort was admitted in July, prior to implementation. Conclusions: Implementation of a decolonization protocol with intranasal mupirocin in burn-surgery patients markedly decreased the incidence of MRSA bacteremia in this cohort. This is the first study to evaluate the use of mupirocin as a decolonizing agent in burn victims. Continued long-term surveillance is recommended, and this strategy has potential for application to other high-risk cohorts.
Background: Inappropriate antimicrobial use continues to threaten modern medicine. The ongoing pandemic likely exacerbated this problem because COVID-19 presents similarly to bacterial pneumonia, confusion exists regarding treatment guidelines, and testing turnaround times (TATs) are slow. Our primary object was to quantify antimicrobial use changes during the pandemic to rates before the crisis. A subanalysis within the COVID-19 cohort was completed based on SARS-CoV-2 status. Methods: The pre–COVID-19 period was January–May 2019 and the COVID-19 period was January–May 2020. Subanalyses were used to explore differences in antibiotics use between persons not under investigation (non-PUIs), SARS-CoV-2–negative PUIs, and SARS-CoV-2–positive PUIs. Non-PUI patients were those without respiratory symptoms and/or fever. The χ2 and Wilcoxon signed rank-sum tests were used for analysis. Results: During the 2019 and 2020 study periods, 7,909 and 7,283 patients received >1 antimicrobial, respectively (Figure 1). Overall, antibiotic therapy per 1,000 patient days increased from 633.1 before COVID-19 to 678.5 during COVID-19, a 7.2% increase (Table 1). Notably, broad-spectrum respiratory antibiotics demonstrated a significant increase between pre–COVID-19 and COVID-19 cohorts (p < 0.001). Of the 7,283 patients within the COVID-19 cohort, 34.7% (n = 2,532) were PUI and 13.8% (n = 1,002) of these patients tested SARS-CoV-2 positive. Again, broad-spectrum respiratory antibiotics use was significantly increased for COVID-19 patients (p < 0.001). Of note, the proportion of patients receiving respiratory antibiotics steadily decreased over time (R2 = 0.99). Conclusions: There was a significant increase in antibiotic use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Encouragingly, antimicrobial use decreased over time, likely due to (1) faster TATs, (2) real-time education to clinicians and subsequent de-escalation of unnecessary antimicrobials, and (3) development of treatment guidelines as new research emerged.
To describe interfacility transfer communication (IFTC) methods for notification of multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) status in a diverse sample of acute-care hospitals.
Hospitals within the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network (SRN).
SRN members completed an electronic survey on protocols and methods for IFTC. We assessed differences in IFTC frequency, barriers, and perceived benefit by presence of an IFTC protocol.
Among 136 hospital representatives who were sent the survey, 54 (40%) responded, of whom 72% reported having an IFTC protocol in place. The presence of a protocol did not differ significantly by hospital size, academic affiliation, or international status. Of those with IFTC protocols, 44% reported consistent notification of MDRO status (>75% of the time) to receiving facilities, as opposed to 13% from those with no IFTC protocol (P = .04). Respondents from hospitals with IFTC protocols reported significantly fewer barriers to communication compared to those without (2.8 vs 4.3; P = .03). Overall, however, most respondents (56%) reported a lack of standardization in communication. Presence of an IFTC protocol did not affect whether respondents perceived IFTC protocols as having a significant impact on infection prevention or antimicrobial stewardship.
Most respondents reported having an IFTC protocol, which was associated with reduced communication barriers at transfer. Standardization of protocols and clarity about expectations for sending and receipt of information related to MDRO status may facilitate IFTC and promote appropriate and timely infection prevention practices.
The innovation of rapid influenza polymerase chain reaction (XT-PCR) has allowed quick, highly sensitive test results. Consequently, physicians can differentiate influenza from other respiratory illnesses and rapidly initiate treatment. We examined the effect of implementing XT-PCR on antimicrobial use, admission rates, and length of stay at a tertiary healthcare system.
This study evaluates the personal and professional experiences of physician mothers during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the impact of the pandemic on the lives of physician mothers.
Using social media to reach a broad range of physicians, a convenience sample of physician mothers completed an on-line survey posted between April 27 and May 11. Members were encouraged to repost on social media and share with personal contacts resulting in a passive snowball sampling effect.
A total of 2709 physician mothers from 48 states, Puerto Rico, and 19 countries representing more than 25 medical specialties completed the survey. Most were between 30 and 39 y of age, 67% self-identified as white, 17% as Asian, 4% as African American. Most had been working for 11-16 y. A total of 91% had a spouse/partner of the opposite sex. Over half were practicing in an area they identified as high COVID-19 density, while 50% had personally cared for a person with COVID-19. Physician mothers were most concerned about exposing their children to COVID-19 and about the morale and safety of their staff.
This is one of the first studies to explore the personal and professional challenges facing physician mothers during a pandemic. Physician mothers were most concerned about exposing their families to COVID-19. Mothers continued to work and at times increased their work, despite having domestic, childcare, and schooling responsibilities.
We conducted a comparative retrospective study to quantify the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on patient safety. We found a statistically significant increase in central-line–associated bloodstream infections and blood culture contamination rates during the pandemic. Increased length of stay and mortality were also observed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) is used to stratify community need for support during disasters. We evaluated relationships between the SVI and personal protective equipment shortages, COVID-19 caseload, and mortality rates in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). In SVI quartile 4, personal protective equipment shortages were 2.3 times those in SNFs in quartile 1; COVID-19 case loads were 1.6 times those of SNFs in quartile 1; and mortality rates in were 1.9 times those of SNFs in SVI quartile 1.
Background: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are classified as an urgent antibiotic-resistant threat by the CDC, and they are listed on the critical priority list by the World Health Organization due to the lack of antibiotic treatment options. New-Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM) is an emerging mechanism of carbapenem resistance in the United States. We sought to understand the risk factors and clinical characteristics of patients with NDM CRE in Michigan to improve surveillance. Methods:A retrospective descriptive study was conducted in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). CRE isolates submitted to MDHHS between April 2014 and July 2019 were tested for the presence of NDM using CDC PCR protocols. Additional information on case demographics, laboratory results, healthcare and antibiotic exposure history, and travel history were collected. Results: In total, 30 NDM cases were identified in Michigan during the study period. Of these 30 cases, 15 (50%) were men, and the median age was 73.5 years (range, 20–88 20). Also, 2 of these patients (6.6%) were immunocompromised; 2 patients (6.6%) had had extensive abdominal surgery, and 2 patients (6.6%) had recurrent hospitalization. Furthermore, 12 case isolates (40%) were collected in outpatient settings, whereas 16 (53%) were collected from inpatient settings. In addition, 13 (43%) patients were admitted from home and 4 (13%) presented from an extended-care facility. Urine was the most common site of isolation in 19 of 30 (63%) cases, followed by blood and tissue culture in 4 of 30 (13%) each. Escherichia coli was the most common organism (17 of 30, 57%), followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae (9 of 30, 30%). Also, 15 of 30 cases (50%) had a recent history of international travel, and of these, 9 of 15 (60%) reported travel to India. Among these 15 cases, 12 (80%) sought medical care in the countries they visited. Two cases (6.6%) had a documented history of multidrug-resistant organism colonization or infection. The mortality rate was 6.6% (2 of 30). The mean time from admission to implementation of contact precautions was 7.3 days (range, 0–20). Conclusions: Suspicion of NDM CRE strains should remain high in patients with a travel history from areas known as major reservoirs of NDM. Delay in implementing contact precautions, as noted in the present study, can lead to a greater risk of transmission. Early detection and subsequent isolation of NDM patients are essential strategies for preventing transmission within healthcare facilities. Future efforts include performing whole-genome sequencing of these isolates to assist in identifying potential epidemiological links among the affected patients.
Background: The clinical picture of influenza-like illness can mimic bacterial pneumonia, and empiric treatment is often initiated with antibacterial agents. Molecular testing such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is often used to diagnose influenza. However, traditional PCR tests have a slow turnaround time and cannot deliver results soon enough to influence the clinical decision making. The Detroit Medical Center (DMC) implemented the Xpert Flu test for all patients presenting with influenza-like illness (ILI). We evaluated antibacterial use after implementation of rapid influenza PCR Xpert Flu. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study comparing all pediatric and adult patients tested using traditional RT PCR during the 2017–2018 flu season to patients tested using the rapid influenza Xpert Flu during the 2018–2019 flu season in a tertiary-care hospital in Detroit, Michigan. These patients were further divided into 3 groups: not admitted (NA), admitted to acute-care floor (ACF), or admitted to intensive care unit (ICU). The groups were then compared with respect to percentage of antibacterial use after traditional RT PCR versus rapid influenza Xpert Flu testing during their hospital visit for ILI. The χ2 test was used for statistical analyses. Results: In total, 20,923 patients presented with influenza-like illness during the study period: 26% (n = 5,569) had the rapid influenza Xpert Flu and 73.4% (n= 15,354) had traditional RT PCR. For a comparison of the number of patients in 3 groups (NA, ACF, and ICU) and type of influenza PCR performed among these patients, please refer to Table 1. When comparing antibacterial use in the NA group, the proportions of patients who received antibacterial agents in the traditional RT PCR group versus the rapid influenza Xpert Flu group were 24.4% (n = 695) versus 3.9% (n = 450), respectively (P < .0001). In the ACF group, the proportions of patients who received antibacterial agents in the traditional RT PCR group versus the rapid influenza Xpert Flu group was 62.3% (n = 1,406) versus 27.7% (n = 994), respectively (P < .001). In the ICU group, the proportions of patients who received antibacterials in the traditional RT PCR group versus the rapid influenza Xpert Flu group were 80.3% (n = 382) versus 38.3% (n = 204), respectively (P < .0001). Conclusions: With rising antimicrobial resistance and increasing influenza morbidity and mortality, rapid diagnostics not only can help diagnose influenza faster but also can reduce inappropriate antimicrobial use.
Background: Influenza causes a high burden of disease in the United States, with an estimate of 960,000 hospitalizations in the 2017–2018 flu season. Traditional flu diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests have a longer (24 hours or more) turnaround time that may lead to an increase in unnecessary inpatient admissions during peak influenza season. A new point-of-care rapid PCR assays, Xpert Flu, is an FDA-approved PCR test that has a significant decrease in turnaround time (2 hours). The present study sought to understand the impact of implementing a new Xpert Flu test on the rate of inpatient admissions. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted to compare rates of inpatient admissions in patients tested with traditional flu PCR during the 2017–2018 flu season and the rapid flu PCR during the 2018–2019 flu season in a tertiary-care center in greater Detroit area. The center has 1 pediatric hospital (hospital A) and 3 adult hospitals (hospital B, C, D). Patients with influenza-like illness who presented to all 4 hospitals during 2 consecutive influenza seasons were analyzed. Results: In total, 20,923 patients were tested with either the rapid flu PCR or the traditional flu PCR. Among these, 14,124 patients (67.2%) were discharged from the emergency department and 6,844 (32.7%) were admitted. There was a significant decrease in inpatient admissions in the traditional flu PCR group compared to the rapid flu PCR group across all hospitals (49.56% vs 26.6% respectively; P < .001). As expected, a significant proportion of influenza testing was performed in the pediatric hospital, 10,513 (50.2%). A greater reduction (30% decrease in the rapid flu PCR group compared to the traditional flu PCR group) was observed in inpatient admissions in the pediatric hospital (Table 1) Conclusions: Rapid molecular influenza testing can significantly decrease inpatient admissions in a busy tertiary-care hospital, which can indirectly lead to improved patient quality with easy bed availability and less time spent in a private room with droplet precautions. Last but not the least, this testing method can certainly lead to lower healthcare costs.
Objective: We investigated the epidemiology of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in long-term care facility (LTCF) patients admitted to a tertiary-care center in Detroit. Methods: A retrospective case-control study was conducted of LTCF residents who were hospitalized with CDI at the Detroit Medical Center between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2016. Case patients (LTCF residents admitted with CDI) were compared to 2 sets of inpatient controls. The first set of controls included inpatients presenting from the same LTCFs without CDI (control A). Second set included inpatients admitted from non-LTCF (home, community, hospital) who acquired CDI > 48 hours after admission or those who acquired CDI within 48 hours of admission but were exposed to an acute-care hospital within 4 weeks prior to admission (control B). Cases were matched (1:3 ratio) to the 2 sets of controls (control A and control B) based on year of admission. Matched multivariable analyses using conditional logistic regression were performed to identify independent predictors of CDI. Results: In total, 85 cases were matched to 2 sets of controls. For the first multivariate logistic regression model performed on cases and control A (n1 = 255), significant risk factors identified included tube feeding (OR, 3.60; 95% CI, 1.43–9.02; P = .006) and albumin ≤2.5 g/dL (OR, 4.98; 95% CI, 2.02–12.31; P < .001). For the second multivariate logistic regression model performed on cases and control B (n2 = 255), significant risk factors identified included Charlson comorbidity index score (OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.12–1.40; P < .001), tube feeding (OR, 3.63; 95% CI, 1.81–7.25; P < .001), prior use of PPI (OR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.20–0.68; P = .001), prior use of H2 blockers (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.16–0.69; P = .003), and prior use of antibiotics (OR, 0.12; 95% CI, 0.06–0.24; P < .001). Cases were more likely to have complicated CDI (OR, 7.02; P < .001) and recurrent CDI (OR, 2.63; P =.02) when compared to control B. Conclusions: Patients who acquired CDI at LTCFs experienced more severe CDI and were at greater risk for recurrent CDI than patients with other healthcare-associated CDI. For the regression model performed on cases and control A as well as that performed on cases and control B, tube feeding was the only variable that consistently predicted CDI among LTCF patients.
Funding: This study was supported by Pfizer Inc (Collegeville, PA).