#3: Up-and-Coming Prevention Methods for Clostridium difficile
At the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Spring 2016 Conference, held in Atlanta, Georgia in May 2016, Contagion®
interviewed Robin Jump, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Jump discussed up-and-coming infection prevention strategies to block the spread of Clostridium difficile
in the healthcare setting.
During her interview, Dr. Jump talked about how healthcare providers can work to better prevent C. diff
in post-acute care facilities. She said that prevention “relies in large part on antimicrobial stewardship, [such as] avoiding unnecessary antibiotic exposure, and also relies upon infection control.” In terms of infection control, Dr. Jump suggested practicing proper hand hygiene, and taking the necessary precautions when interacting with patients infected with C. diff
One important aspect that she stressed is use of proper language when explaining to a patient or family member why prescribing antibiotics should not be the first measure taken to treat a C. diff
infection. “We have to, all of us, not just patients, but all of us in healthcare as well, become more willing to delay starting an antibiotic [regimen] and engage in what some people have called 'watchful waiting.' I like to call [it] 'careful observation,' [because] when we say 'watchful waiting' it sounds like we’re not doing anything and that’s not the case, we actually are carefully observing people, and this is especially true for people who are in long-term care and post-acute care facilities,” said Dr. Jump. The term, ‘watchful waiting,’ she explained, may be translate to the patient as if the provider is simply waiting without taking action, when, in fact, the provider is observing infection progression in the patient. This distinction should be communicated.
To read the full interview transcript, click here