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Quantify the frequency and drivers of unreported coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms among nursing home (NH) staff.
Confidential telephone survey.
The study was conducted in 70 NHs in Orange County, California, December 2020–February 2022.
The study included 120 NH staff with COVID-19.
We designed a 40-item telephone survey of NH staff to assess COVID-19 symptom reporting behavior and types of barriers [monetary, logistic, and emotional (fear or stigma)] and facilitators of symptom reporting using 5-point Likert scales. Summary statistics, reliability of survey constructs, and construct and discriminant validity were assessed.
Overall, 49% of surveys were completed during the 2020–2021 COVID-19 winter wave and 51% were completed during severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) δ (delta)/ (omicron) waves, with a relatively even distribution of certified nursing assistants, licensed vocational or registered nurses, and nonfrontline staff. Most COVID-19 cases (71%) were detected during mandated weekly NH surveillance testing and most staff (67%) had ≥1 symptom prior to their test. Only 34% of those with symptoms disclosed their symptom to a supervisor. Responses were consistent across 8 discrete survey constructs with Cronbach α > 0.70. In the first wave of the pandemic, fear and lack of knowledge were drivers of symptom reporting. In later waves, adequate staffing and sick days were drivers of symptom reporting. COVID-19 help lines and encouragement from supervisors facilitated symptom reporting and testing.
Mandatory COVID-19 testing for NH staff is key to identifying staff COVID-19 cases due to reluctance to speak up about existing symptoms. Active encouragement from supervisors to report symptoms and stay home when ill was a major driver of symptom reporting and resultant infection prevention and worker safety measures.
Persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are prone to receiving reduced quality of care. We compared the quality of room cleaning of rooms with ADRD residents and rooms with non-ADRD residents in nursing homes using an ultraviolet (UV) marker. ADRD status was associated with greater failure of UV marker removal (odds ratio, 1.68; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–2.71; P = .03).
The CLEAR Trial recently found that decolonization reduced infections and hospitalizations in MRSA carriers in the year following hospital discharge. In this secondary analysis, we explored whether decolonization had a similar benefit in the subgroup of trial participants who harbored USA300, using two different definitions for the USA300 strain-type.
We performed secondary analyses of a postdischarge decolonization trial of MRSA carriers that reduced MRSA infection and hospitalization by 30%. Hospitalized MRSA infection was associated with 7.9 days of non-MRSA antibiotics and CDI in 3.9%. Preventing MRSA infection and associated hospitalization may reduce antibiotic use and CDI incidence.
Background: Greater than 10% of hospitalized MRSA carriers experience serious MRSA infection in the year following discharge. Prevention opportunities have primarily focused on hospital stays; however postdischarge interventions have the potential to reduce morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. The CLEAR trial found a 30% hazard reduction in postdischarge MRSA infections among patients who had inpatient MRSA cultures and were given postdischarge decolonization (5 days twice-a-month for 6 months) relative to hygiene education alone. We conducted a cost analysis of the CLEAR intervention to quantify the economic implications and understand the value of adopting this MRSA decolonization strategy. Methods: We constructed a decision model to estimate the one-year healthcare utilization and costs associated with postdischarge decolonization relative to hygiene education. Trial results for MRSA infection risk and downstream outcomes (including outpatient and emergency room visits, hospitalizations, related nursing home stays, and postdischarge antibiotics) were used to parameterize the model. Other medical care and prescription drug costs were based on Medicare Fee Schedules, Red Book and the literature. Patient out-of-pocket costs and time costs associated with subsequent infections were from a survey of trial participants experiencing infection (n=405). All costs were reported in 2019 US dollars. The analysis was conducted using healthcare system and societal perspectives. Sensitivity analyses were conducted on key parameters. Results: Among a hypothetical cohort of 1,000 hospitalized MRSA carriers, we estimated that a postdischarge decolonization intervention versus hygiene education would result in at least 36 fewer subsequent MRSA infections (130 vs 93 of 1,000, respectively) and >40 fewer MRSA-attributable healthcare events including 32 hospitalizations and 6 postdischarge nursing home visits over the course of a year. Assuming an intervention cost of $185 per individual, the program would result in an overall cost savings of $469,000 per 1,000 MRSA carriers undergoing decolonization. This translates to an overall savings of $13,200 per infection averted and $9,000 per infection averted from the healthcare system perspective. Even assuming a lower infection rate or a less effective intervention (15% reduction in infections vs 30% in the CLEAR trial), or a more expensive (up to $653 per patient) intervention, a decolonization program would still result in cost-savings for society, the healthcare system and patients. Conclusions: In addition to health benefits of preventing infections, postdischarge decolonization of MRSA carriers yields substantial savings to society and the healthcare system. Future recommendations for reducing postdischarge MRSA-related disease among MRSA carriers should consider routine decolonization at hospital discharge.
Funding: This study was supported by a grant from the AHRQ Healthcare-Associated Infections Program (R01HS019388) and by the University of California Irvine Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, which was funded by a grant from the NIH Clinical and Translational Sciences Award program (UL1 TR000153).
Disclosures: Dr. Huang reports conducting clinical studies in which participating nursing homes and hospitals received donated products from Stryker (Sage Products), Mölnlycke, 3M, Clorox, Xttrium Laboratories, and Medline. Ms. Singh reports conducting clinical studies in which participating nursing homes and hospitals received donated products from Stryker (Sage Products), 3M, Clorox, Xttrium Laboratories, and Medline. Dr. Rashid, conducting clinical studies in which participating nursing homes and hospitals received donated products from Stryker(Sage Products), Clorox, and Medline. Dr. McKinnell reports receiving grant support to his institution from Melinta Therapeutics, and fees for serving as a research investigator from Lightship, conducting clinical studies in which participating nursing homes and hospitals received donated products from Stryker (Sage Products), 3M, Clorox, Xttrium Laboratories and Medline, and serving as cofounder of Expert Stewardship. Dr. Miller reports receiving grant support from Gilead Sciences, Merck, Abbott, Cepheid, Genentech, Atox Bio, and Paratek Pharmaceuticals, grant support and fees for serving on an advisory board from Achaogen and grant support, consulting fees, and fees for serving on an advisory board from Tetraphase and conducting clinical studies in which participating nursing homes and hospitals received donated products from Stryker (Sage Products), 3M, Clorox, Xttrium Laboratories, and Medline.
Background: Shared Healthcare Intervention to Eliminate Life-threatening Dissemination of MDROs in Orange County, California (SHIELD OC) was a CDC-funded regional decolonization intervention from April 2017 through July 2019 involving 38 hospitals, nursing homes (NHs), and long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs) to reduce MDROs. Decolonization in NH and LTACHs consisted of universal antiseptic bathing with chlorhexidine (CHG) for routine bathing and showering plus nasal iodophor decolonization (Monday through Friday, twice daily every other week). Hospitals used universal CHG in ICUs and provided daily CHG and nasal iodophor to patients in contact precautions. We sought to evaluate whether decolonization reduced hospitalization and associated healthcare costs due to infections among residents of NHs participating in SHIELD compared to nonparticipating NHs. Methods: Medicaid insurer data covering NH residents in Orange County were used to calculate hospitalization rates due to a primary diagnosis of infection (counts per member quarter), hospital bed days/member-quarter, and expenditures/member quarter from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2019. We used a time-series design and a segmented regression analysis to evaluate changes attributable to the SHIELD OC intervention among participating and nonparticipating NHs. Results: Across the SHIELD OC intervention period, intervention NHs experienced a 44% decrease in hospitalization rates, a 43% decrease in hospital bed days, and a 53% decrease in Medicaid expenditures when comparing the last quarter of the intervention to the baseline period (Fig. 1). These data translated to a significant downward slope, with a reduction of 4% per quarter in hospital admissions due to infection (P < .001), a reduction of 7% per quarter in hospitalization days due to infection (P < .001), and a reduction of 9% per quarter in Medicaid expenditures (P = .019) per NH resident. Conclusions: The universal CHG bathing and nasal decolonization intervention adopted by NHs in the SHIELD OC collaborative resulted in large, meaningful reductions in hospitalization events, hospitalization days, and healthcare expenditures among Medicaid-insured NH residents. The findings led CalOptima, the Medicaid provider in Orange County, California, to launch an NH incentive program that provides dedicated training and covers the cost of CHG and nasal iodophor for OC NHs that enroll.
Disclosures: Gabrielle M. Gussin, University of California, Irvine, Stryker (Sage Products): Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Clorox: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Medline: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Xttrium: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes.
Background: The Changing Lives by Eradicating Antibiotic Resistance (CLEAR) Trial was a trial of 2,121 recently discharged methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriers randomized to MRSA education plus a 5-day decolonization regimen repeated twice monthly for the 6 months following discharge versus MRSA education alone. Decolonization resulted in a 30% reduction in MRSA infection and a 17% reduction in all-cause infection (Huang SS et al, NEJM, 2019) in the year following discharge. We pursued an evaluation of USA300 carriers to determine whether the decolonization benefit differed for this strain type. Methods: A secondary analysis of the CLEAR randomized controlled trial (RCT) was performed, limiting the cohort to participants known to harbor USA300 at or within 30 days of enrollment and who attended all follow-up visits in the year following discharge. Within this subset, we conducted a time-to-event analysis using unadjusted and adjusted Cox proportional-hazard models. Variables in adjusted analyses included demographic data, insurance type, presence of coexisting conditions or medical devices at enrollment, hospitalization or residence in a nursing home in the year before enrollment, receipt of anti-MRSA antibiotics, protocol adherence, and randomization strata. Results: USA300 was identified in 420 of the 783 participants who attended all visits and had strains genetically tested. MRSA infections occurred in 27 of 207 education group participants (0.149 per person year) and in 19 of 213 decolonization group participants (0.099 per-person year). Point estimates from the unadjusted hazard ratios of infection reduction were similar (0.59; 95% CI, 0.32–1.09) to the full trial population (0.61; 95% CI, 0.44–0.85), suggesting nondifferential benefit for the USA300 strain type. Adjusted models were highly similar. Conclusions: The reduction in MRSA infection associated with postdischarge decolonization in the subgroup of participants who harbored the USA300 strain-type was consistent with overall trial findings. Although the original trial was not powered for the evaluation of a USA300 subset, this RCT provides a valuable design for assessing the magnitude of strain-specific responsiveness to decolonization during a time when national rates of MRSA invasive disease have plateaued and USA300 is responsible for an increasing proportion of infections. These data suggest that postdischarge decolonization should be similarly effective in carriers of either USA300 or healthcare-associated MRSA strains.
Disclosure: Gabrielle M. Gussin, Stryker (Sage Products): Conducting studies in which antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Clorox: Conducting studies in which antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Medline: Conducting studies in which antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Xttrium: Conducting studies in which antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Mohamad Sater, Salary-Day Zero Diagnostics.
Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is responsible for the largest number of invasive infections due to a multidrug-resistant pathogen. Approximately 10% of hospitalized carriers will experience invasive MRSA disease in the year following discharge incurring antibiotic therapy beyond focused treatment of MRSA. Objective: We aimed to quantify the extent of non-MRSA empiric antibiotics incurred by MRSA infections and further assess the risk of Clostridioides difficile Infection (CDI) as a result of treatment of MRSA infection. Methods: The CLEAR Trial was a postdischarge randomized controlled trial of 2,121 MRSA carriers comparing MRSA education alone to education plus repeated decolonization that demonstrated a 30% reduction in MRSA infection and a 17% reduction in all-cause infection attributable to decolonization in the year following hospital discharge (Huang SS, NEJM 2019). We included all hospitalization outcomes due to MRSA infection in the CLEAR Trial with detailed medication administration records to quantify unintended consequences of MRSA infection related to empiric non-MRSA antibiotic use and resultant CDI. Full-text medical records were reviewed with a standardized abstraction form to collect inpatient administered antibiotics and hospital-associated CDI. Results: In total,154 hospitalizations due to MRSA infection with a mean length-of-stay of 10.6 days were identified. During 25 hospitalizations (16.2%), patients received only anti-MRSA antibiotics. During the remaining 129 (83.8%) hospitalizations, patients received a mean of 1.6 distinct non-MRSA antibiotics totaling a mean of 6.6 days of therapy (DOT). Empiric non-MRSA therapy was given for 3.2 DOT before MRSA culture results became available and was continued for an additional 3.4 DOT afterward. Among all 849 non-MRSA DOT, the most common were due to piperacillin-tazobactam (293 DOT, 34.5%), levofloxacin (105 DOT, 12.4%), and metronidazole (93 DOT, 11.0%). Across all 154 hospitalizations, a mean of 5.5 non-MRSA DOT was calculated per MRSA hospitalization, with 6 CDI cases (3.9%) as a direct sequelae of empiric non-MRSA antibiotics provided for MRSA infection. Conclusions: Hospitalization for MRSA infection results in extensive non-MRSA empiric antibiotic therapy both before and after MRSA culture results are known. This antibiotic use is associated with a 3.9% risk of CDI that exceeds the national risk of acquiring CDI (3.2 per 1,000 admissions) by 12-fold during any hospital stay (Barrett ML, AHRQ 2018). The CLEAR Trial findings that postdischarge decolonization reduces MRSA infection and hospitalization by 30% suggests that decolonization may also reduce non-MRSA antibiotic use and CDI in this population.
We performed systematic review on 40 paired hospital and nursing home charts from a clinical trial to evaluate the fidelity of transitions of care among those discharged on antibiotics. We found that 30% of transitions included an inappropriate change to the patient’s antibiotic plan of care.
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