Simulation Shows Hospitals That Cooperate On Infection Control Obtain Better Results Than Hospitals Acting Alone

Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.64). 10/2012; 31(10):2295-303. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0992
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Efforts to control life-threatening infections, such as with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), can be complicated when patients are transferred from one hospital to another. Using a detailed computer simulation model of all hospitals in Orange County, California, we explored the effects when combinations of hospitals tested all patients at admission for MRSA and adopted procedures to limit transmission among patients who tested positive. Called "contact isolation," these procedures specify precautions for health care workers interacting with an infected patient, such as wearing gloves and gowns. Our simulation demonstrated that each hospital's decision to test for MRSA and implement contact isolation procedures could affect the MRSA prevalence in all other hospitals. Thus, our study makes the case that further cooperation among hospitals-which is already reflected in a few limited collaborative infection control efforts under way-could help individual hospitals achieve better infection control than they could achieve on their own.

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    ABSTRACT: Because hospitals in a region are connected via patient sharing, a norovirus outbreak in one hospital may spread to others. We utilized our Regional Healthcare Ecosystem Analyst software to generate an agent-based model of all the acute care facilities in Orange County (OC), California and simulated various norovirus outbreaks in different locations, both with and without contact precautions. At the lower end of norovirus reproductive rate (R0) estimates (1.64), an outbreak tended to remain confined to the originating hospital (≤6.1% probability of spread). However, at the higher end of R0 (3.74), an outbreak spread 4.1%-17.5% of the time to almost all other OC hospitals within 30 days, regardless of the originating hospital. Implementing contact precautions for all symptomatic cases reduced the probability of spread to other hospitals within 30 days and the total number of cases countywide, but not the number of other hospitals seeing norovirus cases. A single norovirus outbreak can continue to percolate throughout a system of different hospitals for several months and appear as a series of unrelated outbreaks, highlighting the need for hospitals within a region to more aggressively and cooperatively track and control an initial outbreak.
    09/2014; 1(2):ofu030. DOI:10.1093/ofid/ofu030
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    ABSTRACT: The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) found that Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is associated with up to 375,000 infections and 23,000 deaths in the United States. It is a major cause of surgical site infections, with a higher mortality and longer duration of care than Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. A multifactorial bundled approach is needed to control this epidemic, with single interventions unlikely to have a significant impact on attenuating MRSA infection rates. Active surveillance has been studied in a wide range of surgical patients, including surgical intensive care and non-intensive care units; cardiac, vascular, orthopedic, obstetric, head and neck cancer and gastrostomy patients. There is sufficient evidence demonstrating a beneficial effect of surveillance and eradication prior to surgery to recommend its use on an expanded basis. Studies on MRSA surveillance in surgical patients that were published over the last 10 years were reviewed. In at least five of these studies, the MRSA colonization status of patients was reported to be a factor in preoperative antibiotic selection, with the modification of treatment regiments including the switching to vancomycin or teicoplanin in MRSA positive preoperative patients. Several authors also used decolonization protocols on all preoperative patients but used surveillance to determine the duration of the decolonization. Universal decolonization of all patients, regardless of MRSA status has been advocated as an alternative prevention protocol in which surveillance is not utilized. Concern exists regarding antimicrobial stewardship. The daily and universal use of intranasal antibiotics and/or antiseptic washes may encourage the promotion of bacterial resistance and provide a competitive advantage to other more lethal organisms. Decolonization protocols which indiscriminately neutralize all bacteria may not be the best approach. If a patient's microbiome is markedly challenged with antimicrobials, rebuilding it with replacement commensal bacteria may become a future therapy. Preoperative MRSA surveillance allows the selection of appropriate prophylactic antibiotics, the use of extended decolonization protocols in positive patients, and provides needed data for epidemiological studies.
    05/2014; 3:18. DOI:10.1186/2047-2994-3-18
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. To build and to begin evaluating a regional automated system to notify infection preventionists (IPs) when a patient with a history of gram-negative rod multidrug-resistant organism (GNRMDRO) is admitted to an emergency department (ED) or inpatient setting. Design. Observational, retrospective study. Setting. Twenty-seven hospitals, mostly in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, in a health information exchange (HIE). Patients. During testing of the new system: 80,180 patients with microbiology cultures between October 1, 2013, and December 31, 2013; 573 had a GNRMDRO. Methods/intervention. A Health Level Seven (HL7) data feed from the HIE was obtained, corrected, enhanced, and used for decision support (secure e-mail notification to the IPs). Retrospective analysis of patients with microbiology data (October 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013) and subsequent healthcare encounters (through February 6, 2014). Results. The 573 patients (median age, 66 years; 68% women) had extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (78%), carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (7%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (9%), Acinetobacter baumannii (3%), or other GNR (3%). Body sources were urine (68%), sputum/trachea/bronchoalveolar lavage (13%), wound/skin (6%), blood (6%), or other/unidentified (7%). Between October 1, 2013, and February 6, 2014, 252 (44%) of 573 had an ED or inpatient encounter after the GNRMDRO culture, 47 (19% of 252) at an institution different from where the culture was drawn. During the first 7 weeks of actual alerts (January 29, 2014, through March 19, 2014), alerts were generated regarding 67 patients (19 of 67 admitted elsewhere from where the culture was drawn). Conclusions. It proved challenging but ultimately feasible to create a regional microbiology-based alert system. Even in a few months, we observed substantial crossover between institutions. This system, if it contributes to timely isolation, may help reduce the spread of GNRMDROs.
    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 10/2014; 35(S3):S40-S47. DOI:10.1086/677833 · 3.94 Impact Factor