Preventing Candida Auris Spread with Surveillance Testing
Screening and isolation protocols were shown to reduce the risk of transmission.
Preventing the spread of emerging infections is of significant importance, and the collaboration of information technology (IT) and infection prevention (IP) may be an important tool in halting these infections.
Investigators from UCLA Health, in collaboration with the UCLA Medical Center, recently conducted a study which used IT and IP to proactively surveil and communicate with other facilities about an emerging candida auris outbreak occurring in healthcare facilities.
The data was presented at the 2021 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology conference virtual sessions.
For the study, every admission into the facility included a C. auris risk assessment. When a screening was positive, IT developed a nurse guided protocol to place C. auris surveillance and isolation orders.
When patients were known to have a history of C. auris, IP was automatically paged. Patients were then placed in the C. auris status in the patient chart triggering an automatic hold. The IT implemented automatic hold stopped the After Visit Summary from being printed until IP was notified. This prevented the discharge of the patient until the Department of Public Health (DPH) was notified.
Findings showed that since July 2020, there were 52 patients who were tested for C. auris, with 11 of them being positive. Because high-risk factors were identified early enough, the patients were placed in isolation to prevent possible transmission.
Additionally, the screening and isolation protocols prevented hospital acquired C. auris infections at the facility and the forced hold prompted notification to DPH which aided in the prevention of community transmission.
“The collaboration amongst IP and IT, with active surveillance ordering and holds on the chart, prevented an outbreak at this facility,” the authors wrote. “The implications of this is a multi-level notification system to monitor C. auris within the healthcare facility to prevent unknown transmission and potential outbreaks.”