Short summary card increases staff knowledge about infection control

Transmission-based precautions are designed to interrupt the transmission of pathogens. Success relies on early recognition of patients with potentially infectious conditions and prompt action. Researchers from Scotland examined the value of a transmission-based precautions reminder card for healthcare workers. Staff at one hospital were surveyed about implementing transmission-based precautions. After this, staff were issued with a guidance card summarising local transmission-based precautions guidelines. They were invited to carry the card with them as a reminder. Staff were resurveyed later to assess impacts. The card was associated with improved staff ability to decide which transmission-based precautions were required in various situations.
Reference: Russell CD, et al. Healthcare workers’ decision-making about transmission-based infection control precautions is improved by a guidance summary card. The Journal of Hospital Infection. 2015. 90(3): 235 – 239

Long-term MRSA control is possible using a bundle of interventions.

This study examined the impact of MRSA infection control approaches used at one hospital in Switzerland over a 20 year period. The hospital implemented strict contact precautions, with single rooms for MRSA-colonised or infected patients, targeted screening upon admission of high-risk patients and healthcare workers at risk, molecular typing of all MRSA strains and routine decolonisation of MRSA carriers, including healthcare workers. Between 1993 and 2012, 540,669 blood samples were tested. The rate of testing increased over time. MRSA incidence varied between 0 and 0.27 per 10,000 patient days. The researchers concluded that long-term control of MRSA is feasible by strictly enforcing a bundle of infection control precautions.

Widmer AF, Lakatos B, Frei R. Strict infection control leads to low incidence of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection over 20 years. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2015. 36(6): 702 – 709

Clostridium difficile infection control has economic benefits

This study examined whether a multi-method approach to reduce Clostridium difficile infection might be worthwhile at US hospitals. The intervention included antimicrobial stewardship, contact precautions and enhanced environmental cleaning. Data were analysed using a computer model with a five-year time horizon. The focus was people aged 65 years or more whose care was funded by the government. If this programme was implemented nationally, it was estimated that cost savings across all admissions would be US$2.5 billion.

Reference: Slayton RB et al. The cost-benefit of federal investment in preventing clostridium difficile infections through the use of a multifaceted infection control and antimicrobial stewardship program. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2015. 36(6): 681 – 687