A Helpful Guide for CDI Prevention

A Helpful Guide for CDI Prevention

According to the CDC, the mortality rate associated with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) increased by 400% between 2000 and 2007, due in part to a stronger germ strain. CDI accounts for approximately 14,000 deaths each year in the United States. Current estimates show that the average total cost for a single inpatient CDI is more than $35,000, and the estimated annual cost burden for the healthcare system exceeds $3 billion. “Preventing the transmission of CDI continues to be a serious and difficult challenge in hospitals throughout the U.S.,” says Ruth M. Carrico, PhD, RN, FSHEA, CIC. “The epidemiology of CDI is changing [Figure]. Its presence in hospitals and other health-care settings has caused medical personnel across the entire continuum of care to reevaluate approaches and perspectives to preventing and managing this potentially lethal infection.” A National Action Plan on CDI Prevention The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections: Roadmap to Elimination in 2009. The document, available at, provides a roadmap for preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare settings. CDIs were among the first HAIs specifically targeted in the action plan because rates have been increasing in recent years. The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has been involved in promoting and supporting the elements included in this national plan through development of specific guidance aimed at the healthcare practice level. In 2013, APIC issued an updated implementation guide to help clinicians further protect patients from CDI. The update contains new material and revised content...

A Cost-Effective Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

An antimicrobial stewardship program implemented at the University of Maryland Medical Center that used an antimicrobial monitoring team appeared to be highly cost-effective when measured at 7 years. The costs associated with dispensing antimicrobials decreased from $44,181 per 1,000 patient-days prior to program implementation to $23,933 at the end of the program. A reduction of about $3 million was observed in the first 3 years. The authors reported that this was most likely due to decreased use of antifungal agents in the cancer center. Abstract:Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, April...