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We aimed to identify a threshold number of Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI) for acute-care hospitals (ACHs) to notify public health agencies of outbreaks and we aimed to determine whether thresholds can be used with existing surveillance strategies to further infection reduction goals.
Descriptive analysis of laboratory-identified CDI reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network by Colorado and Tennessee ACH inpatient units in 2018.
Threshold levels of ≥2, ≥3, and ≥4 CDI events per calendar month per unit (unit month) were assessed to identify units that would trigger facility reporting to public health. Values meeting thresholds were defined as alerts. Recurrent alerts were defined as alerts from units meeting the threshold ≥2 times within 12 months. The presence of alerts was compared to the number of excess infections to identify high-burden facilities.
At an alert threshold of ≥2 CDI events per unit month, 204 alerts occurred among 43 Colorado ACHs and 290 among 78 Tennessee ACHs. At a threshold of ≥3, there were 59 and 61 alerts, and at a threshold of ≥4, there were 17 and 10 alerts in Colorado and Tennessee, respectively. In both Colorado and Tennessee, at a threshold of ≥3 nearly 50% of alerts were recurrent, and facilities with at least one alert in 2018 accounted for ∼85% of the statewide excess infections.
An alert threshold of ≥3 CDI events per unit month is feasible for rapid identification of outbreaks in ACHs. This threshold can facilitate earlier assessments and interventions in high-burden facilities.
Background: Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in nursing homes; urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a frequent indication. Although there is no gold standard for the diagnosis of UTIs, various criteria have been developed to inform and standardize nursing home prescribing decisions, with the goal of reducing unnecessary antibiotic prescribing. Using different published criteria designed to guide decisions on initiating treatment of UTIs (ie, symptomatic, catheter-associated, and uncomplicated cystitis), our objective was to assess the appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing among NH residents. Methods: In 2017, the CDC Emerging Infections Program (EIP) performed a prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections and antibiotic use in 161 nursing homes from 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. EIP staff reviewed resident medical records to collect demographic and clinical information, infection signs, symptoms, and diagnostic testing documented on the day an antibiotic was initiated and 6 days prior. We applied 4 criteria to determine whether initiation of treatment for UTI was supported: (1) the Loeb minimum clinical criteria (Loeb); (2) the Suspected UTI Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation tool (UTI SBAR tool); (3) adaptation of Infectious Diseases Society of America UTI treatment guidelines for nursing home residents (Crnich & Drinka); and (4) diagnostic criteria for uncomplicated cystitis (cystitis consensus) (Fig. 1). We calculated the percentage of residents for whom initiating UTI treatment was appropriate by these criteria. Results: Of 248 residents for whom UTI treatment was initiated in the nursing home, the median age was 79 years [IQR, 19], 63% were female, and 35% were admitted for postacute care. There was substantial variability in the percentage of residents with antibiotic initiation classified as appropriate by each of the criteria, ranging from 8% for the cystitis consensus, to 27% for Loeb, to 33% for the UTI SBAR tool, to 51% for Crnich and Drinka (Fig. 2). Conclusions: Appropriate initiation of UTI treatment among nursing home residents remained low regardless of criteria used. At best only half of antibiotic treatment met published prescribing criteria. Although insufficient documentation of infection signs, symptoms and testing may have contributed to the low percentages observed, adequate documentation in the medical record to support prescribing should be standard practice, as outlined in the CDC Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for nursing homes. Standardized UTI prescribing criteria should be incorporated into nursing home stewardship activities to improve the assessment and documentation of symptomatic UTI and to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.
Acute change in mental status (ACMS), defined by the Confusion Assessment Method, is used to identify infections in nursing home residents. A medical record review revealed that none of 15,276 residents had an ACMS documented. Using the revised McGeer criteria with a possible ACMS definition, we identified 296 residents and 21 additional infections. The use of a possible ACMS definition should be considered for retrospective nursing home infection surveillance.
Reports of bloodstream infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus among chronic hemodialysis patients to 2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance systems (National Healthcare Safety Network Dialysis Event and Emerging Infections Program) were compared to evaluate completeness of reporting. Many methicillin-resistant S. aureus bloodstream infections identified in hospitals were not reported to National Healthcare Safety Network Dialysis Event.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):205–207
To investigate an outbreak of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM)–producing carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and determine interventions to interrupt transmission.
Design, Setting, and Patients.
Epidemiologic investigation of an outbreak of NDM-producing CRE among patients at a Colorado acute care hospital.
Case patients had NDM-producing CRE isolated from clinical or rectal surveillance cultures (SCs) collected during the period January 1, 2012, through October 20, 2012. Case patients were identified through microbiology records and 6 rounds of SCs in hospital units where they had resided. CRE isolates were tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction for blaNDM. Medical records were reviewed for epidemiologic links; relatedness of isolates was evaluated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). Infection control (IC) was assessed through staff interviews and direct observations.
Two patients were initially identified with NDM-producing CRE during July–August 2012. A third case patient, admitted in May, was identified through microbiology records review. SC identified 5 additional case patients. Patients had resided in 11 different units before identification. All isolates were highly related by PFGE. WGS suggested 3 clusters of CRE. Combining WGS with epidemiology identified 4 units as likely transmission sites. NDM-producing CRE positivity in certain patients was not explained by direct epidemiologic overlap, which suggests that undetected colonized patients were involved in transmission.
A 4-month outbreak of NDM-producing CRE occurred at a single hospital, highlighting the risk for spread of these organisms. Combined WGS and epidemiologic data suggested transmission primarily occurred on 4 units. Timely SC, combined with targeted IC measures, were likely responsible for controlling transmission.
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