Can improving patient hand hygiene impact Clostridium difficile infection events at an academic medical center?

Highlights: 

  • An educational intervention study was completed to improve patient hand hygiene opportunities for patients at a large academic medical center.
  • After the intervention, it was possible to study the effects of improved patient hand hygiene on health care facility–onset Clostridium difficile infection events.
  • C difficile infection events decreased significantly (P ≤ .05) for 6 months after the intervention.
  • Patient hand hygiene may be an underused prevention measure for C difficile disease; successful implementation requires staff to engage the patient with opportunities, reminders, and encouragement to keep their hands clean

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Full reference: Pokrywka, M. et al. (2017) Can improving patient hand hygiene impact Clostridium difficile infection events at an academic medical center? American Journal of Infection Control. Vol. 45 (Issue 9) pp. 959–963

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Reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in the ICU

This review provides a summary of CAUTI reduction strategies that are specific to the intensive care setting | Current Opinion in Critical Care

Patients in the ICU are at higher risk for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) due to more frequent use of catheters and lower threshold for obtaining urine cultures.

The surveillance definition for CAUTI is imprecise and measures catheter-associated bacteriuria rather than true infection. Alternatives have been proposed, but CAUTI rates measured by this definition are currently required to be reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and high CAUTI rates can result in financial penalties. Although CAUTI may not directly result in significant patient harm, it has several indirect patient safety implications and CAUTI reduction has several benefits. Various bundles have been successful at reducing CAUTI both in individual institutions and on larger scales such as healthcare networks and entire states.

Full reference: Sampathkumar, P. (2017) Reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in the ICU. Current Opinion in Critical Care. Vol. 23 (Issue 5) pp. 372–377