With rates of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) now rivaling drug-resistant Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as the most common bacteria to cause healthcare-associated infections, new expert guidance encourages healthcare institutions to implement and prioritize prevention efforts for this infectious diarrhea. The guidelines are published in the June issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.
The new practice recommendations are a part of Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Updates, a collaborative effort led by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Hospital Association, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and The Joint Commission.
"The Compendium uses a data-driven approach to focus efforts on strategies most likely to be effective," said Erik Dubberke, MD, MSPH, co-lead author. "Healthcare workers' adherence to these recommendations is vital. Any weak link in the prevention chain can lead to excessive C. difficile cases."
To help combat the highly infectious bacteria, experts recommend creating a multidisciplinary approach that enlists a broad scope of hospital personnel, including leadership, healthcare professionals, lab personnel, pharmacy technicians, environmental services staff, and IT professionals to collaborate and implement effective interventions. Below are recommended strategies for hospitals and other acute care settings.
The guidelines note several areas that require more research before making recommendations.
The 2014 release updates the initial 2008 Compendium publication.
Materials provided by Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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