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To assess the impact of incorporating early rapid influenza diagnosis on antimicrobial usage, nosocomial influenza transmission, length of stay, and occupancy rates among hospitalized patients.
A 1,100 bed tertiary-care hospital in southern Israel.
We implemented early rapid detection of influenza with immediate communication of results. Using Orion methods, we compared the 2017–2018 influenza season to the prior season in our hospital and to the 2017–2018 occupancy rates at other Israeli hospitals.
During the intervention season, 5,006 patients were admitted; 1,824 were tested for influenza, of whom 437 (23.9%) were positive. In the previous season, 4,825 patients were admitted; 1,225 were tested and 288 (23.5%) were positive. Time from admission to test report decreased from 35.5 to 18.4 hours (P < .001). Early discharge rates significantly increased, from 21.5% to 41.6% at 36 hours, from 37.2% to 54.5% at 48 hours, and from 66% to 73.2% at 72 hours. No increase in repeat ER visits, readmission, or mortality rates was observed. Hospital occupancy decreased by 10% compared to the previous year and was 26% lower than the national rate. Hospital-acquired influenza cases were reduced from 37 (11.4%) to 12 (2.7%) (P < .001). Antibiotic usage was reduced both before and after notification of test results by 16% and 12%, respectively.
Implementing this intervention led to earlier discharge of patients, lower occupancy in medical wards, reduced antibiotic administration, and fewer hospital-acquired influenza events. This strategy is useful for optimizing hospital resources, and its implementation should be considered for upcoming influenza seasons.
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