Can you speak to the importance of teamwork when it comes to the fight against C. diff
[The fight] requires a team, and the team should include, or at least try to get, members from the chief of surgery (they’re going to be doing colectomies on patients who have CDI), the chief of gastroenterology (since we see a higher correlation of CDIs with proton pump inhibitors and with endoscopy procedures), and nurse managers (especially the nurse manager of the unit that might deal with more of the patients coming in from long-term care and being on [contact] precautions). [The team should] have members of the microbiology lab there, too, as well as the infection preventionists, and the quality department (since they’re responsible for all the penalties that we are getting from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for CDI cases). Also, environmental services (EVS) should be there, if there is some of this innovative technology that they would have to know or you intend to install special lights and fixtures.
What the team should do at first is get everybody on the same page with education. There are a couple of good epidemiology articles on CDIs to provide everyone with, to ensure they understand this national crisis with C. diff
. Then, from there, developing different tasks and projects for the group members and reviewing different cases are important as well. Talk about, ‘Why did this person likely get a CDI? Does it look like it was due to the antibiotics? Or, could this [patient] have been somebody who wasn’t on antibiotics, but picked it up while they were in the hospital as a cross-contamination case?’ That would be the role of the infection preventionist: to bring those cases forward and present them to the committee.
To read the first part of the interview on preventing and controlling CDIs in hospital, go here.
You can read the second portion of the interview on the challenges to disinfecting hospital rooms to prevent CDIs, here.
To stay informed on the latest in infectious disease news and developments, please sign up for our weekly newsletter.